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Stanley Turrentine and The 3 Sounds: Blue Hour – 1960

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Every good record collection has music for many moods. Feeling frantic? Try Dizzy Gillespie or the Ramones. Feel like dancing? Definitely the big bands. Feeling wistful? Maybe Ben Webster or Frank Sinatra. But if you're feeling blue, you need Stanley Turrentine, and Blue Hour is exactly the right prescription. Stanley Turrentine is the very definition of jazzy blues, in almost any setting, with almost any backing band. His soulful sax features heavily on two of my ...


Stanley Turrentine: Don't Mess With Mister T.

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When the CTI label originally released tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine's Don't Mess With Mister T. in 1973, it managed to bring music to the public that served as a sign of the times, while also helping to define the times. The soul within Turrentine's horn had been at the center of his earlier successes for the label--Sugar (CTI, 1970), Salt Song (CTI, 1971) and Cherry (CTI, 1972)--but it really rose to the surface and reached its peak with this release. ...


Stanley Turrentine: Salt Song

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Stanley Turrentine's Sugar (CTI, 1970) has always stood out as the defining album in the tenor saxophonist's post-Blue Note discography, but that recording only marked the beginning of his beautiful relationship with Creed Taylor's CTI imprint. Turrentine's time with the label spanned the first half of the '70s and produced a few other winning albums that draped his thick, soulful sound in more modern aural fabrics of the times. Salt Song (CTI, 1971) was his follow-up to ...


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 ...


Stanley Turrentine: Dearly Beloved

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If ever there was a horn that was a perfect pairing with the Hammond B-3, it was Stanley Turrentine's. His best work was always done in combination with an organ (usually that of his wife Shirley Scott) where he coaxed out purring, laid back melodies over simmering chords. The Prestige label would take the organ combo and run it into the ground with records destined for the jukebox, but Turrentine always kept one foot in the world of jazz, mixing ...

Stanley Turrentine

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Webster's dictionary defines the word “soul" as someone having a strong and positive feeling and having an intense sensitivity and emotional fervor. It also says that soul is characterized by an intensity of feeling and earthiness. It defines the word “funky" similarly as someone having an earthy unsophisticated style and feeling. To me they would be wise to simply put the picture of Stanley Turrentine next to both of these words and a note to just listen to this man ...


The Funk Transition

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Some time back a student of music, Chris, wrote to me an email, asking a very interesting question: “Why is it that some jazz musicians preferred to adopt funk instead of jazz-rock when the transition took place." There were more sub-queries, but this itself is a calls for a thesis, just as he was writing one. I am writing this article broadly based on my reply to him, and though he never acknowledged it [perhaps it didn't reach ...


Stanley Turrentine: The Blue Note Stanley Turrentine Quintet/Sextet Studio Sessions

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With Mosaic Records expanding its horizons over the past few years, fans of many different styles have had the opportunity to expand their collections and recent Mosaic honorees have included Mildred Bailey, Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, Chico Hamilton, and Anita O’Day. But to those long time followers, it continues to be the hard bop verities of the Blue Note label that have often been synonymous with Mosaic’s mail order dynasty. Now, maybe it’s because so much of the catalog has ...


Stanley Turrentine: Sugar

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With Sugar Stanley Turrentine finally delivered on the promise of his Blue Note albums, which were for the most part unspectacular. Following the standard blueprint of the CTI label, Turrentine runs through a handful of steamy, soul jazz workouts with some veterans from the recently deceased hard bop era as well as some up-and-comers from the next generation of electric jazz. With only three tunes on the record, everyone gets plenty of room to explore and eagerly takes advantage of ...


Stanley Turrentine & The Three Sounds: Blue Hour: The Complete Sessions

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There’s a disheartening sense of emptiness that surrounds the thought that only one member of the original crew assembled for Blue Hour is still with us, drummer Bill Dowdy. Now at the time of his recent passing, this album remains an incredibly resilient keepsake of Stanley Turrentine’s virility and spirit. The complete story of its development has never really been told until now however. After the success of his first quartet session and debut for Blue Note, Look Out!, Turrentine ...