Turn Around Norman

Turn Around Norman is Cam Collins-sax; JJ Wright-keyboards; AH-bass; Nathan Ellman-Bell-drums.

Chronograph Hesperidium (live)–written by Cam Collins–performed by Turn Around Norman, September 1, 2010

Turn Around Norman is an experimental jazz quartet founded in Baltimore and recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY. The quartet is made up of Cam Collins (saxophone), JJ Wright (piano, wurlitzer), Adam Hopkins (bass), and Nathan Ellman-Bell (drums). In 2009 Hopkins and Ellman-Bell appeared together on the Baltimore-based Quartet Offensive’s debut “Carnivore,” which received international acclaim and high praise on many year-end lists in the jazz and creative music circles, including NY’s The Village Voice.

TAN’s debut album “We Turn Around” highlights three distinct compositional  personalities who draw influences from vastly different places. Saxophonist Collins contributions (Chronograph Hesperidium, Pirate Issue Pataphysics, and Fin) draw heavy influence from movie scores and leave the band ample room for exploration through group improvisation and interaction. Pianist Wright’s compositions (Transparency I & II, Consolations, and Awakening) are influenced by 20th century American Minimalists Steve Reich and John Adams and focus on repetitive themes and cells that once introduced are deconstructed, permuted, and recomposed, giving the listener multiple perspectives of the same theme. In contrast, Hopkins’ offerings (We Turn Around, and Where the Eff Is Jon?) owe more to experimental indie, math rock, and metal as well as bands like Human Feel, Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, and Naked City which contribute an intense energy and hard edge to the album. When put together on record their compositional styles don’t clash, but compliment one another in a band sound that’s been labeled “epic jazz.”

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