When the CTI label originally released tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine's Don't Mess With Mister T. in 1973, it managed to bring music to the public that served as a sign of the times, while also helping to define the times. The soul within Turrentine's horn had been at the center of his earlier successes for the label--Sugar (CTI, 1970), Salt Song (CTI, 1971) and Cherry (CTI, 1972)--but it really rose to the surface and reached its peak with this release. The Richard Roundtree-worthy expression written across Turrentine's face on the cover is a visual representation of the ...read more
Stanley Turrentine's Sugar (CTI, 1970) has always stood out as the defining album in the tenor saxophonist's post-Blue Note discography, but that recording only marked the beginning of his beautiful relationship with Creed Taylor's CTI imprint. Turrentine's time with the label spanned the first half of the '70s and produced a few other winning albums that draped his thick, soulful sound in more modern aural fabrics of the times. Salt Song (CTI, 1971) was his follow-up to Sugar and, while this album isn't cited as often as his sweet classic, the music ranks a close second when ...read more
This 1960 set is from a period which many consider to have been Stanley Turrentine's most creative. The saxophonist, who would have been 75 this month (March), was just coming out of an extended run with Max Roach's notably up-tempo orchestra. Backed here by a then-emerging powerhouse of sidemen, the set kicks off with the title track, a tersely phrased Turrentine blues composition. The straightforward rhythm section--bassist George Tucker and drummer Al Harewood--makes a perfect berth for some wide open and bouncing solos from pianist Horace Parlan and the composer's tenor sax. It's followed by an unexpected ...read more
If ever there was a horn that was a perfect pairing with the Hammond B-3, it was Stanley Turrentine's. His best work was always done in combination with an organ (usually that of his wife Shirley Scott) where he coaxed out purring, laid back melodies over simmering chords. The Prestige label would take the organ combo and run it into the ground with records destined for the jukebox, but Turrentine always kept one foot in the world of jazz, mixing soul with sophistication. Dearly Beloved is one of the best of his Blue Note records and features ...read more
Webster's dictionary defines the word soul" as someone having a strong and positive feeling and having an intense sensitivity and emotional fervor. It also says that soul is characterized by an intensity of feeling and earthiness. It defines the word funky" similarly as someone having an earthy unsophisticated style and feeling. To me they would be wise to simply put the picture of Stanley Turrentine next to both of these words and a note to just listen to this man play tenor saxophone to understand the definitions.
I first met Stanley in New York City at a rehearsal for a ...read more
With Mosaic Records expanding its horizons over the past few years, fans of many different styles have had the opportunity to expand their collections and recent Mosaic honorees have included Mildred Bailey, Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, Chico Hamilton, and Anita O’Day. But to those long time followers, it continues to be the hard bop verities of the Blue Note label that have often been synonymous with Mosaic’s mail order dynasty. Now, maybe it’s because so much of the catalog has already been mined by Capitol or that Mosaic has other motives for diversifying, but it seems like the Blue Note ...read more
With Sugar Stanley Turrentine finally delivered on the promise of his Blue Note albums, which were for the most part unspectacular. Following the standard blueprint of the CTI label, Turrentine runs through a handful of steamy, soul jazz workouts with some veterans from the recently deceased hard bop era as well as some up-and-comers from the next generation of electric jazz. With only three tunes on the record, everyone gets plenty of room to explore and eagerly takes advantage of it. Turrentine plays in great rolling swells like ocean waves, displaying more force and vigor than usual, while Hubbard peels ...read more
There’s a disheartening sense of emptiness that surrounds the thought that only one member of the original crew assembled for Blue Hour is still with us, drummer Bill Dowdy. Now at the time of his recent passing, this album remains an incredibly resilient keepsake of Stanley Turrentine’s virility and spirit. The complete story of its development has never really been told until now however. After the success of his first quartet session and debut for Blue Note, Look Out!, Turrentine entered the studio in June of 1960 with The Three Sounds on board. They satisfactorily completed five tracks that were ...read more
Tenor saxman Stanley Turrentine is the rare artist who's equally comfortable playing pop-jazz and straight-ahead jazz. While most of his albums have stuck with one style or the other, Do You Have Any Sugar? bounces successfully between both genres.Pianist Kei Akagi shines on the more mainstream tunes, while singer Niki Harris (daughter of pianist Gene Harris and ex-backup singer to Madonna) displays impressive pipes on some of the contemporary cuts. Five of the 11 tracks on Sugar are straight-ahead numbers, and five are in the smooth-jazz vein. The bluesy Bar Fly" could be classified as either.Seven ...read more
Sixty-five-year-old tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine has always been among the leaders in the soul-jazz genre. His readily identifiable sound graced some fine sessions for Blue Note during the 60s and a series of albums for the CTI label in the 70s had strong crossover appeal. Do You Have Any Sugar? contains some fine bluesy grooves (Keep On Keepin' On and Stuff You Gotta' Watch) mixed with some very sappy vocal tracks (Pause To Wonder and Calling You) that are only partially redeemed by Turrentine's buttery, soulful sax. The highlight of the set is Turrentine's rendition of the ballad Far Too ...read more
Stanley Turrentine “knows how to tell a story.” In fact, on his 1999 debut for Concord Vista titled, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGAR? the jazz legend tells 11 of them! The project is a synthesis of traditional grooves in a contemporary context with a variety of styles honed over the four decades that Turrentine has been blessing audiences with. The set also utilizes a nice variety of ensembles from quartets to nonets. His tenor saxophone, is melodic and swings in the pocket of contemporary grooves and the set has something for all music lovers from easy listening to bop and ...read more
Beginning with 1974's popular Pieces of Dreams (Fantasy), sugar man Stanley Turrentine began to assume more control of his own recordings. That album turned out to be quite a hit and for the most part since, the tenor great has stuck to mostly commercial settings. But despite the often simple material or occasionally unnecessary sweetening, Turrentine consistently rises above his circumstances with that sumptuous signature sound and his always appealing bluesy swing. Do You Have Any Sugar?, Turrentine's first disc since 1995's quite good T Time (Music Masters) and his debut for Concord Vista, is a welcome return ...read more
Hot on the heels of the recently re-issued Stanley Turrentine Blue Note classic, The Spoiler (Sept. 22, 1966), comes the welcome re-release of Easy Walker. Although released as part of the label's Rare Groove" series, very little of this rare, soulful jazz will be thought of as funk or acid jazz. With the exception of the first track, Meat Wave," a standard Sidewinder"-type acoustic groove that opened almost every Blue Note album from the period, this is an easy-going, swinging session that highlights the chemistry between the instantly identifiable tenor saxophonist and the strong presence of pianist McCoy Tyner - ...read more
Blue Note's been digging deep in the vaults and turned up one long-forgotten gem in Common Touch , a joint production between the former husband-and-wife team of Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott. Ms. Scott has always been a vastly underrated organ player who crafted her own light and airy sound out of some dead-serious blues. She was also a much better-suited partner to her ex-husband's deep, rich and individual tenor than even Jimmy Smith. There's clearly an unmistakable emotional telepathy here. The Turrentines recorded on more than a dozen occasions throughout the 60s for a variety of labels (Blue Note, ...read more
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