170

Stanley Turrentine: Do You Have Any Sugar?

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
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 tracks were co-written by keyboardist Stephen Boyd, but Stanley Turrentine is the glue that holds this seeming hodgepodge together. At age 65, he doesn't blow with the same soulful energy that he displayed during his prime. However, there's a kind of intuitive earthiness to his playing on Sugar. Joe Sample, Ray Brown, Harvey Mason, Alex Acuna, Greg Phillinganes and Abe Laboriel also lend their coveted talents to the recording.

I prefer the straight-ahead material to the smoother fare, although the latter is well crafted. Favored cuts include "Keep On Keepin' On" and "Back In The Day," a couple of mid-tempo swingers that have a Crusaders-like soul-jazz feel, thanks mainly to the spirited sax-trombone combination of Turrentine and Andy Martin. The remaining straight-ahead tunes lean toward a soul-jazz vibe and are significantly more melodic than most of today's mainstream jazz.

Of the contemporary tracks, the best is Robert Telson's "Calling You" (written for the 1988 film Bagdad Café ). It's a plaintive, atmospheric piece interpreted beautifully by Ms. Harris. Also notable is "Favorite Heart," a gentle samba instrumental. The syrupy title track is the only tune here that doesn't merit repeated listens.

With Do You Have Any Sugar, Stanley Turrentine delivers a diverse and accessible collection that's especially recommended to fans of smooth jazz interested in hearing something a bit more substantial than the usual.

Title: Do You Have Any Sugar? | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

About Stanley Turrentine
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read No Place to Fall
No Place to Fall
By Mark Corroto
Read Cooper's Park
Cooper's Park
By Mike Jurkovic
Read Katarsis4
Katarsis4
By Vitalijus Gailius
Read A Throw Of Dice
A Throw Of Dice
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Roma
Roma
By Mike Jurkovic
Read e-motion
e-motion
By Nicholas F. Mondello
Read The Real Blue
The Real Blue
By Jack Bowers
Read City Abstract
City Abstract
By Dan Bilawsky