|Beautiful Open Spaces
||The New Superhero
||St Columbia's Twist
||Time & Tide
||Like a Dam
Ashley Turner - Double Bass
Roger Manins - Tenor Sax
Andrew Dickeson - Drums
Matt McMahon - Piano and Fender Rhodes
Blaine Whittaker - Soprano and Alto Saxes
Carl Dewhurst - Guitar
Craig Simon - Drums
The release of Ashley Turner’s debut CD Beautiful Open Spaces is a landmark in a new era of contemporary Australian jazz. Comprised entirely of Turner’s original compositions and featuring 7 of Australia’s finest musicians this new release begs the question: where has this double-bassist/composer been hiding?
Like most leading jazz musicians Turner has paid his dues in New York. After being awarded a prestigious Australia Council Individual Development Grant in 1996 Turner relocated to New York and spent 6 years establishing himself as a freelance jazz musician among the world’s best. He played with heavyweights such as Charlie Persip, Gene Jackson, Valery Ponomarev, Al Foster and James Carter to name a few!
Turner studied with bass legend Ron Carter while completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at City College of New York. Once established in the Big Apple he began recording for New York artists such as Sheryl Bailey (New York jazz guitarist and lecturer at Berklee College of Music) for whose album Reunion of Souls Turner penned the title track.
Returning to Australia in 2001 Turner’s accomplishments were recognised when he was awarded his second Australia Council Grant this time to record his debut CD.
“Beautiful Open Spaces became an amalgamation of my experiences as a musician living in two worlds; the fast-paced, chaotic vibrancy of New York and the relaxed tranquillity of the Australian lifestyle – both countries vastly different but equally inspiring”.
Turner’s ability to write and play in different genres while maintaining continuity is what makes Beautiful Open Spaces such a compelling album. Whether it’s the hard-bop swinging of The New Superhero, the ominous intensity of Like A Dam, the energetic rhythm and free jazz of St Columba’s Twist or the floating ballad Time And Tide, Turner is the catalyst that unites the whole.
In Zen Dive, Turner plays the entire tune with his bow. “This piece is in seven and is complex both texturally and harmonically – each musician has a very specific part. I was trying to translate some fairly abstract ideas to music and while I’m happy with the result, I’m unable to find a label that adequately describes it.”
Beautiful Open Spaces is a vibrant musical experience with depth and maturity, made possible by Australia’s most talented artists under Turner’s superb musical direction.
Beautiful Open Spaces features Ashley Turner on Double Bass, Roger Manins on Tenor Sax, Andrew Dickeson on Drums, Carl Dewhurst on Guitar, Matt McMahon on Piano and Fender Rhodes, Blaine Whittaker on Alto Sax and Craig Simon on Drums.
Beautiful Open Spaces is released and distributed by La Brava Music and is in stores now.