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You can blame it on poor marketing or his enigmatic persona, but any way you look at it, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner has yet to receive the wide recognition he deserves. He certainly has all the attributes of a young jazz lion: good looks, a hip fashion sense, a scholarly approach to musicianship. But his alliances with other forward-thinking young musicians—guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Brian Blade—place him slightly left of the jazz vanguard. There, Turner’s edgy, understated playing slyly probes the waters of the avant-garde without ever losing its focus on modern bebop. With any luck, his latest album, Ballad Session, a slow-burning affair that gloriously illuminates Turner’s vaporous tone and poetic phrasing, will catapult him into the hearts of more jazz fans. He performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Rear. $18. (202) 337-4141. (John Murph)