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Sky & Country

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 31, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sky & Country is the ECM debut of the highly regarded Fly Trio collective, a veritable super-group of sorts, and described as "an intimate band with teeth". While Jazz history is not short on highly charged sax/bass/drums trios ala Sonny Rollins and Albert Ayler, Fly Trio present a different attitude, including "equal rights" for instruments & writing. The trio members are; Sax man Mark Turner, who has worked witrh the likes of Dave Holland, Paul Motian, Brad Mehldau, Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz and James Moody; Drummer/percussionist Jeff Ballard, a child prodigy who toured with Ray Charles, and since has played with Lou Donaldson, Chick Corea, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman and Enrico Rava; and Larry Grenadier on bass, who has worked with Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and Bobby Hutcherson among many others.

Review

"All told, this is music that expands and contracts, effortlessly and dramatically--and that balances the cerebral components of group improvisation with the more gut-level elements of groove." -- Jazztimes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 31, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B001RW18J2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,104 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've always had a soft-spot for the sax-trio; that spacious formation where technique and ideas are tested, and where if we're very lucky saxophone gods are born. This type of pianoless trio, with a tenor centerpoint in the bass/ drums triangle, immediately brings to mind the (still) great Sonny Rollins, and the precedent he set with albums like Night At The Village Vanguard, Way Out West, and Freedom Suite. Those were all powerful, hard-driving sonic tributes to an unbeatable tenor sound, backed up by skillful ringers in the bass and drum slots, who reacted and backed up the aggressive musings of Rollins. Sky and Country, by the Turner/Ballard/Grenadier collective Fly, is on the other hand a much different (but no less interesting) animal than it's untamed-Rollins-ancestor. An animal slightly cooled by it's ECM recording and melodic sensibilities, but far from domesticated.
For one thing Fly is truly a cooperative, not two sidemen backing up the snaking tenor of Mark Turner. From the rotating authorship of it's compositions, to the free-flowing, intertwined, airy sound, there is no one instrument that dominates the proceedings at the expense of the others. This is a collaboration in name and in form. Interestingly enough these musicians are familiar with each other not just from Fly's eponymous first release: 2004's
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Ir is very hard to say anything more than what was already stated in previous reviews but sometimes you just need to write something to say how much you liked an album and that gives you a reason to write a review. Even if I repeat what the other reviewers said it is a fantastic record, with fantastic musicians playing at their best. Mark Turner is incredible here even much better than in the 2004 release of FLY, everything seems more balanced, of course the ECM contributed to the great sound but it is more than that: it is only after listening to it several times and even more that you realize the importance of this recording, there is always more to discover, more to be attentive to... The coherence of the trio is just masterful. Highly recommended!
Another incredible performance of Mark Turner was on the Delbecq Unit release of 2004 called "Phonetics". Check it out, it is also a fantastic record.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a masterpiece of three master artists. To my opinion this is how a Jazz trio sax, double bass and drums should sound.

If you listen to Fly you hear the ultimate freedom within a balanced structure. The mixture of rhythm, harmony and melody is very balanced. Although it is a trio Jeff Ballard, Larry Grenadier and Mark Turner fill the full spectrum. As a listener you will experience character, emotion and freedom in improvisation.

Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard all expose their individual sound and creativity.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was very excited to buy this album, as Fly is one of my favorite groups. Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier, and Jeff Ballard are three of the most talented jazz musicians playing today, and I buy almost everything they record individually (especially Turner). Their first album together is one of my favorite CDs of the last 5 years. Really, truly: I love these guys.

But I don't love this CD. This particular performance never really takes off. It just sort of meanders around without really saying anything. I'm as surprised as any one to say it, as I thought this was a sure-fire star performance. But for some reason the CD is just really dull: The group just didn't have anything to say that morning. Everyone has a bad day, so I'll be sure to pre-order the NEXT Fly CD. But this one was sort of a dud for me.
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