Recent listening, current

Friday, February 15, 2013

35. Stanley Turrentine / Look Out! (1960)

Look Out! is a good title, and the set list is what first jumped out at me. Sandwiched between Turrentine originals like the title track and "Little Sheri" are contemporary jazz compositions and covers that don't get around much. For instance, "Tiny Capers" is a nice one by the much missed Clifford Brown, and "Journey into Melody" is an offbeat selection by the prolific movie score composer Robert Farnon. Regarding the latter, I've never heard anyone else ever cover it. In a jazz album, I like that kind of variety and Turrentine's focus on melodic variation and a soulful technique give it plenty of lift. He's not alone -- Turrentine veteran Al Harewood really swings on the hi hat and hard stick rolls, sounding much like he did with Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce a few years earlier, but coolly and thoughtfully adapted to the particular demands of Turrentine's hybrid of hard bop and the emerging soul jazz. It's a straight ahead session, one of the best of the year on Blue Note and the reissue deserves a second look. Oh! I nearly forgot: they call Turrentine the Silver Flash, and you've got to love that.

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