From his early days with the legendary Rahsaan Roland Kirk to a continuing 17-year stint with the Saturday Night Live band, Steve Turre could arguably be included among a camp of seasoned jazz men who’ve “been there and done that.” Along the way, the adaptable trombonist has also made viable music by utilizing a collection of various sized conch shells, surely the most unusual items to be found in the category of miscellaneous instruments.
Turre’s sophomore effort for Telarc is a stripped down affair in the “horns and rhythm section” mold with a concept at play in regard to charts that serve as homage to a few guiding elders. Three different quartets are on board with tenor men James Carter, Dewey Redman, and David Sanchez as part of the mix. But unlike the more far ranging implications of his Verve sides of recent vintage, there’s a sense of blandness here that is oddly conspicuous. Even the wildly animated Carter seems reigned in by a muted conservatism. While the Latin tinge added to “Puente of Soul” and “Dewey’s Dance” helps to stoke the coals, this set is just a bit too polite for its own good.
Track Listing: Back in the Day, Puente of Soul, Stompin' at the Savoy, The Nearness of You, Hallelujah, I Love Her So, Eric the Great, E.J., Dewey's Dance
Personnel: Steve Turre (trombone), James Carter (tenor saxophone), Dewey Redman (tenor saxophone), David Sanchez (tenor saxophone), Victor Lewis (drums), Mulgrew Miller (piano), Lewis Nash (drums), Stephen Scott (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Buster Williams (bass)