"I like transforming" ... from the beginning of this profile of enigmatic saxophonist Mark Turner, directed by Gloria Rebecchi as part of the Sound of New York series, the artist speaks of his music in spiritual turns. Over the next half an hour, we hear from a man who always seeks to embody the music, searching for a state in which he is at one with the soundscapes that spill out from his tenor horn: "I think of myself like a rock and music like water that trickles into the rock over time. Very slowly, I can change and learn more and be shaped by the power of the music."
As a lost young man, Turner had a moment of salvation while transcribing John Coltrane. Later, he said he was looking for an affirmation of his culture and found it in jazz, with Coltrane acting as the prime mover: "I used to cry when I played his music." In the 1990s he moved from the Berklee College of Music to New York and developed a style of his own busking out in the street and practicing constantly. Since this initial period, according to renowned journalist Ashley Kahn, Mark has been "THE cat" of the tenor saxophone, which "is for jazz what the guitar is for rock and the piano for classical music."
An ever intriguing character, the film also goes into his Buddhism and how his music benefits from mantras, sutras and meditation. The pictures are accompanied by a live improvised set led by Mark and accompanied by Jonathan Blake on drums, Lage Lund on guitar and Ethan Iverson on piano.