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Stanley Turrentine: Look Out!

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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 treat. "Journey Into Melody" is a luxuriant piece by British conductor Robert Farnon. Well-known for his lush orchestrations, his music would hardly be expected to turn up on a Turrentine session, he who only a few years earlier had taken Coltrane's seat in Earl Bostic's band. But it all works easily between these two romanticists. The great Ben Webster was a major influence on Turrentine, and a tender sound very akin to Webster's is evident on this leisurely, warmly played melody.

Another Turrentine tune, "Little Sheri," is dedicated to his then-young daughter, and grew to become a signature tune for the saxophonist. Here, after a warm, low-key intro by Turrentine accentuated by Harewood's brushes, Parlan swings in with some easy, gentle chords. Throughout the set, Turrentine and especially Parlan give out with a grabbing, bluesy soul quality. Back in the early '50,s Turrentine had recorded with Ray Charles and echoes of that special soul sound appear here. Turrentine's partnering with Parlan here is especially notable, presaging other memorable recordings of theirs for this same label. But it was here that they really began to cook and the heat is palpable.

Track Listing: Look Out!; Journey Into Melody; Return Engagement; Little Sherri; Tiny Capers; Minor Chant; Tin Tin Deo; Yesterdays; Little Sheri.

Personnel: Stanley Turrentine: tenor saxophone; Horace Parlan: piano; George Tucker: bass; Al harewood: drums.

Title: Look Out! | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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