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In his premier recording for Telarc, Steve Turre, as always goes for the intriguing concept. None of his CD's are mere blowing sessions, but rather considerable thought goes into the entire scope of the production before the first note is played.
In the case of "In The Spur Of The Moment," Turre, rather than investigating the musics of other cultures or exploring the sonic possibilities of unconventional instruments, builds upon his previous discoveries to look inward instead.
And what he finds is segmented into three categories on "In The Spur Of The Moment": blues and swing, free and modal, and Latin, specifically Afro-Cuban. Rather than blending all of these influences into a single straight-through session, Turre has divided them and chosen the appropriate personnel to deepen the exploration of the genres.
The true surprise of "In The Spur Of The Moment" is the employment of Ray Charles as instrumental accompanist on four of the bluesier tracks. Perhaps as payback for Turre's work with Ray Charles in the early 1970'sor maybe simply as a matter of friendshipCharles reveals for all the world to hear that his skills as a jazz pianist have been vastly underappreciated. The interplay and sense of fun between Turre and Charles elevate the above mere workmanship and create a unity of spirit.
The middle section, consisting of Scott, Williams and DeJohnette, crank up the intensity of the session with a contrast of styles: Ellingtonian tromboned vocalizing on the Ellington tribute, an open-horned blowing session on "Something For John", and then an elaborate, freeing exercise on "In The Spur Of The Moment" and allows Turre to create suspense with an expansive intro and Scott and Williams to expand into arresting solo excursions.
The last three tracks are perhaps the most varied. "Suenos de La Habana" proceeds as a fairly standard Latin tune on which the rhythm section lays down a fairly standard percussive backdrop. "Claudia" slows everyone down as the strings are called in and Valdes goes into arpeggiated expressiveness. But the final tune, "Descarga Ahora," as did "In The Spur Of The Moment" in the middle section, unfetters the musicians to show distinctive individual excellence and to establish contagious danceability as a concluding statement.
Turre remains unique among trombonists, and "In The Spur Of The Moment" provides further evidence of his unpredictability.
Ray's Collard Greens; Misty; Duke Rays; The Way You Look Tonight; Ellington Medley; Something For John; In The Spur Of The Moment; Suenos de La Habana; Claudia; Dscarga Ahora
Steve Turre, trombone, conch sheels; Ray Charles, Stephen Scott, Chucho Valdes, piano; Peter Washington, Buster Williams, Andy Gonzales, bass; Pete Turre, Jack DeJohnette, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, drums
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.