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Composers in their own words, pt. 5: Mark-Anthony Turnage

Mark-Anthony Turnage is a bad, jazz-lovin' mofo whose music is a vast cityscape of bebop riffs, blues licks, screeches, wails, hymns, and prayers. His pieces are often scored for ensembles expanded to include instruments closely associated with the jazz tradition. This ability to meaningfully integrate vernacular elements into well-crafted music creates results both of our time and outside it.

I suppose the most influential jazz player on my writing is Miles Davis. I'm a Miles Davis geek. I love pretty much everything that he ever was involved in. I'm very lucky to have collaborated with a few of his ex-sidemen, like John Scofield and Dave Holland. I regard jazz as a major art form and I take it very seriously, and I think these players are as important as any other musicians over the last 100 years.


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