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Mark Taylor Quartet
$15 general, $13 members/seniors, $7 studentsCall 206-443-4221 for reservations.

Mark TaylorWinner of the 2009 Golden Ear award for NW Jazz Recording of the Year for his wonderful Spectre, saxophonist Mark Taylor reconvenes the album’s quartet for one evening at Tula’s. Featuring LA pianist Gary Fukushima, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer Byron Vannoy, the Mark Taylor Quartet offers a wide-ranging, “consistently compelling” (Seattle Times) set of original music that proudly displays Taylor as a major musical force and “one of Seattle’s finest young musicians.” (Paul de Barros)

A Seattle native, Taylor picked up the alto in the fifth grade and studied at Roosevelt High School, and later with Don Lanphere and Michael Brockman at UW. Taylor next studied at the Manhattan School of Music for two years, where he also performed with the Vanguard Orchestra, before returning to Seattle.

Taylor has been a steady contributor to the Seattle jazz scene, however, particularly to the Jim Knapp Orchestra, Thomas Marriott’s ensembles, the SRJO, and Matt Jorgensen + 451. Within these ensembles, Taylor’s darting, edgy improvisations on alto and soprano saxophone made him a fixture in the community, and earned him widespread respect from audiences and peers alike. As Wayne Horvitz, another bandleader for whom Taylor has worked, told the Seattle Times: “I love his sound and ideas and lyricism, his open-mindedness and looking to break out of the musical bag he’s usually associated with [...] As many alto players as there are, it’s a hell of a horn to say something new on. He’s got a lot of modern conceptual stuff, but doesn’t use it like a guy running his licks. I find that really refreshing.”

This balance between conceptual playing and Taylor’s interest in more traditional forms is a key component to his quartet: “I don’t know if there’s a specific sound I’m looking for. I love thoughtful composition, but also complete freedom, stuff that has some depth and pushes you out of your comfort level.” The celebration of the Spectre Quartet continues, but a year past its release, look for new sounds as well.

-Peter Walton
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