This early quintet outing is a strong showcase for Mark Turner the composer. It's also an important chapter in the special relationship between Turner and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. The two would later work mainly in piano-less settings, but here they are joined by pianist Brad Mehldau, who adds his advanced harmonic insight to the session. One could rightly bill the record as "Turner and Rosenwinkel with the Brad Mehldau Trio," as the rhythm section consists of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, Mehldau's longtime collaborators. The disc boasts five strong Turner originals, including "Zurich," which would resurface on 2001's Dharma Days. (This version features guest tenorists Seamus Blake and Terrence Dean.) Rosenwinkel weighs in with "Cubism," a similar version of which he included on 2000s The Enemies of Energy. The two remaining non-Turner pieces are Mehldau's hard-swinging "Subtle Tragedy" and a bright five/four rendition of John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice." Yam Yam reveals much about the evolution of all these players, and is therefore well worth the attention of serious fans.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler