This always-busy British player is a master drummer and collector of percussion equipment who plays modern improvised music with the panache of a classic swing drummer, reflecting his varied musical interests and involvements since he began playing as a young man. Roger Turner came out of the musically active and creative Canterbury scene and first improvised formally in front of the British Arts Council with collaborator Chris Biscoe in 1966. It would be more than a decade before this judging body would grant him several bursaries to continue his exploration into percussion and electronics, but in the meantime he moved to London in 1968 and began working in the Ghanian drum ensemble Mask. African music was an obvious point of grounding for any drummer, but Turner had also been closely following jazz. For several years, he toured with the experimental, innovative Ritual Theatre group but began focusing on developing an individual style as a player in the early '70s. He performed solo at the Bracknell Jazz Festival and the Bruxelles Festival of Percussion. His first recorded appearances as a member of the British free improvising scene happened around this time. The 1979 album Sunday Best, on Incus, was recorded in duo with tenor saxophonist Gary Todd, a far out player who was nonetheless highly influenced by jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Turner continued such activity with a long series of ad hoc improvising combinations that have included such players as trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, guitarists Derek Bailey and his disciple John Russell, multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford, violinist Carlos Zingaro, saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Joelle Leandre, and free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor. He received bursaries from the Arts Council in 1980 and 1983. Following the second of these grants, he took up a two-year workshop residency with bassist, keyboardist, and composer Alan Silva in Paris. Through studying with this respected figure from the American free jazz scene, Turner moved into a period of working with both rock music and song forms. None of these collaborations were particularly traditional, however, continuing what would be a trend for Turner to stay out on the edge of musical developments. He worked with songwriter and keyboardist Annette Peacock from 1983 through 1985, and with the band the Nose Flutes in 1986 to 1987. The latter combo was described as a post-wave band, which perhaps means one listens to their music following a day at the beach. He played in more jazz-orientated ensembles under the direction of Silva, as well as saxophonists Lol Coxhill and Elton Dean, a former member of the influential jazz-rock combo the Soft Machine. In the late '90s, Turner was the member of several bands. He continued working with Silva in the Traditions band also featuring trombonist Johnannes Bauer. He played with Coxhill and guitarist Mike Cooper in the Recedents, and perhaps most successfully became a member of the co-operative Konk Pack ensemble with electronics players Thomas Lehn and reed player Tim Hodgkinson. The latter band performed at many European festivals and undertook a tour of the United States in the fall of 2001. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Top Tracks
Nº 1
Roger Turner solo @ Inage Candy (2013)
Roger Turner x Koichi Makigami x Yumiko Tanaka: Live at the Hara Museum
Phil Minton and Roger Turner at the Sage Gateshead
John Russell & Roger Turner @ Mopomoso 17/03/2019
Colonel Roger Turner - 3rd Battalion Address
Roger Turner, Akio Suzuki 2013/2/23 2nd Set
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