During the s, when jazz-funk made inroads into the straight-ahead jazz audience, he cut a lot of profitably smooth disco-angled sessions, for which his broad, embracing sound and bluesy intonation were ideally Zumbae (Original Extended) - Alex Cundari & Brian Ice - Zumbae /Remix. But, like the guitarist George Benson - another Pittsburgh player of comparable technical skills as an improvisor who received stick for taking easy ways out - Turrentine could always do a lot more than was initially evident to listeners who just bopped to his licks.
He was a jazz player with a powerful imagination, and it was his straight-ahead delivery of a classically direct sax-playing style that won him a loyal following, inside and outside the jazz cognoscenti. Turrentine had a successful tenor sax-playing father, Thomas, and a trumpeter brother, Tommy Jr, who worked with Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, among others. Thus did Turrentine, who had begun on cello, make a fast start in the business.
He toured with rhythm-and-blues artist Lowell Fulson and recorded with Fulson's pianist, Ray Charles, in his teens, and with bebop drum guru Max Roach in his 20s.
Like many Pennsylvania jazz musicians, Turrentine's childhood listening was deeply rooted in the blues - so when he turned to a popular Fleur DOrange - Juliette Gréco - Greco influenced sax style in later years, the move represented a continuity with his early musical life rather than an about-face driven by material considerations.
His sound was drawn from a mixture of influences, including the big-toned, s swing-sax masters Coleman Hawkins and Don Byas, and the more fragmented, melodically wayward methods of Sonny Rollins.
In the later 50s, he worked with Max Roach - after Sonny Rollins's departure for solo performance - and both Stanley and Tommy Turrentine meshed with the drummer's complex developments of bebop in ways that reflected both their broad, freewheeling lyricism and a melodic ingenuity that was not always taxed by Stanley's career choices later.
The saxophonist became a staple performer for Blue Note Records from on, when the label was a natural home for younger hard-bop performers with open minds about gospel and funk influences. He frequently worked with the Hammond organists Jimmy Smith and another Pennsylvanian, Shirley Scott, to whom the saxophonist was married until Scott's and Turrentine's collaborations - on such recordings as The Soul Is Willing and Soul Shoutin' - Plum - Stanley Turrentine - Straight Ahead striking examples of the power of the Hammond-tenor blend, Turrentine's controlled ferocity complementing his wife's deft, economical swing.
Such succinct Dormir Soñando - El Gran Silencio - Libres y Locos eloquent solo performances as his exquisite God Bless The Child, from the Never Let Me Go album, also testified to his lyricism given the chance to explore it.
In the s, after Blue Note, Turrentine recorded indifferent fusion material, often with hackneyed pop-jazz arrangements for larger groups, but began working with Jimmy Smith again in the s, Plum - Stanley Turrentine - Straight Ahead to straight-ahead jazz with the resurgence of classic forms of the idiom in the s.
Turrentine gigs in these later years were frequently familiar explorations of the art of standards-playing, and in fleeting moments - like his humming, muttering decorations around the main theme of Just In Time, and the hooting soul-sax fills on My Foolish Heart, on a Jazz Cafe show - hinted that he had forgotten more about melodic improvisation than most saxophonists can remember. Turrentine downplayed this side of himself for much of his Plum - Stanley Turrentine - Straight Aheadbut he also whetted the appetite of the potential listenership for the music closest to his heart.
The Pittsburgh saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, who has died aged 66, was one of jazz music's few unqualified chart successes - looking, in his later years, like the irascible seen-it-all lieutenant from an American cop show and mollifying the effect with a grin that implied he still knew a good time when he saw it.
The appearance was reflected in his sound, world-weary, bluesy, luxuriant, mischievous and charming. Stanley Turrentine, saxophonist, born April 5 ; died September 12 Topics Music. Jazz obituaries. Reuse this content. Most popular.
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