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Stanley Turrentine: Sax with a Touch of Blues

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Stanley Turrentine.

Stanley Turrentine.

Associated Press

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, designated by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as a time to celebrate the legacy of jazz. April was designated Jazz Appreciation Month in part because so many legendary jazz artists were born in April.

To celebrate JAM, WDUQ will post a weekly music list celebrating a notable jazz artist born that week. This week: tenor sax legend Stanley Turrentine.

Turrentine was born into a musical family in Pittsburgh, Penn. — a city long noted for its rich jazz history and output of future jazz masters. His father played sax, his mother played piano, and his brother Tommy played trumpet. Turrentine had a deep, warm, soulful tone rooted in the blues. Over time, he moved from straight-ahead jazz to soul-jazz to R&B and pop-laced crossover tunes. No matter what style he played, a touch of the blues could always be found, and a note of pretension could never be heard.

Stanley Turrentine: Sax with a Touch of Blues

Sugar
Sugar
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Sugar

  • from Sugar [Bonus Track]
  • by Stanley Turrentine

"Sugar" is the both the song and the album that broke Stanley Turrentine to a mainstream audience. Deeply soulful and bluesy, "Sugar" also features George Benson on guitar.

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Song
Sugar [Bonus Track]
Album
Sugar [Bonus Track]
Artist
Stanley Turrentine
Label
Epic
Released
2002

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Cover for Up at Minton's
Yesterdays
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Yesterdays

  • from Up at Minton's
  • by Stanley Turrentine

This date was recorded at Minton's Playhouse, a small club in Harlem that was home to regular jam sessions throughout the 1940's. Turrentine is featured here with fellow Pittsburgher Horace Parlan on piano, Grant Green on guitar, George Tucker on bass and Al Harewood on drums.

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Song
Up at Minton's
Album
Up at Minton's
Artist
Stanley Turrentine
Label
Blue Note
Released
1961

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Cover for Easy Walker
Stan's Shuffle
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Stan's Shuffle

  • from Easy Walker
  • by Stanley Turrentine

This song captures Turrentine and his bandmates in a relaxed, but still swinging mood. Once again, the warmth of his tenor sax shines through. Pianist McCoy Tyner provides the perfect piano touch.

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Song
Easy Walker
Album
Easy Walker
Artist
Stanley Turrentine
Label
Blue Note
Released
1966

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Cover for Let It Go
Let It Go
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Let It Go

  • from Let It Go
  • by Stanley Turrentine With Shirley Scott

Turrentine and then-wife Shirley Scott groove through this soul-jazz piece. The deep, rich tone of Turrentine's sax paired with Scott's funky yet precise organ builds from a mellow groove then lets loose into a spirited swing.

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Song
Let It Go
Album
Let It Go
Artist
Stanley Turrentine with Shirley Scott
Label
Universal Japan
Released
1964

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The Spoiler
You're Gonna Hear from Me
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You're Gonna Hear from Me

  • from Spoiler [RVG Edition]
  • by Stanley Turrentine

For those who know Sir Andre Previn primarily as a classical music master, listen to Turrentine swing through one of his many jazz compositions. Only skilled hands can truly bring out the soul of the tune. This song became very popular in the late '60s as a vocal number, but this instrumental version is very appealing. Turrentine is backed by a large ensemble.

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Song
Spoiler [RVG Edition]
Album
Spoiler [RVG Edition]
Artist
Stanley Turrentine
Label
JCT
Released
2007

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