240

Stanley Turrentine Featuring Shirley Scott: Common Touch

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
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, Prestige, Impulse and Atlantic); the best of which is Turrentine's Let It Go (Impulse) and Never Let Me Go (Blue Note) and Scott's Blue Flames , The Soul Is Willing , Soul Shoutin and this late entry from 1968, Common Touch.

What makes this different is the addition of the agile guitarist Jimmy Ponder (like Turrentine, a Pittsburgh native) and a markedly funkier edge — nothing Turrentine, Scott, Ponder, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Idris Muhammed couldn't do in their sleep. Common Touch rocks with a funky groove that is catchy and thoughtful all at once. "Buster Brown" simmers at a boil without condescending or collapsing. Ms. Scott's hot "Boogaloo," featured on last year's The Lost Grooves compilation from Blue Note, works some sparkling interplay into a hip-grinding groove. And just when you think no jazz could loosen up Dylan's "Blowin in the Wind," listen to how funky it gets here. A bonus is the addition of a long, sizzling blues recorded by more or less the same group earlier in the year, "Ain't No Way" (from a from May 1968 session that was eventually featured as the title cut to an album released under Turrentine's name in 1981). The joy of this zesty release is the chemistry of the rhythm section and the ideal combination of the tenor player, his former wife and the guitarist from his hometown. Good tunes, great playing and talented players make this a real winner. Kudos to Blue Note for its active interest in bringing back this music. Even though popular opinion in jazz circles seems to deny it, the Blue Note legacy includes some first-class music after Alfred Lion sold the label to Liberty in 1967. Common Touch is a great example.


Title: Common Touch | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Morphometry" CD/LP/Track Review Morphometry
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Just Funkin' Around" CD/LP/Track Review Just Funkin' Around
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Unfiltered Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Unfiltered Universe
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Big Beat" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Beat
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.