Stanley Turrentine

Priceless Jazz

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This is one of many GRP compilations in the series with the not-so-self-effacing designation of Priceless Jazz Collection. It brings together selections from two albums made by Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott in the 1960s: Let It Go, made at the Rudy Van Gelder studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and Queen of the Organ, a live 1964 performance in Newark, NJ. During those days, these two leading exponents of soul-based jazz were husband and wife, often recording under each other's names. In doing so, they left a legacy of outstanding, funky, mixed R&B-jazz performances, ably represented by the tracks included on this CD. Each cut follows pretty much the same format. Irrespective of the tempo (and most of the tunes are medium to uptempo arrangements), Turrentine opens with the melody, with Scott playing over it, but behind him. Turrentine then segues into a bit of improvisation on the main theme with Scott continuing to do her organ thing behind him, still staying away from the melody. Nowhere is this approach more evident and effective than on "Deep Purple," recalling another famous tenor sax and organ duet of this classic tune with Ben Webster and Groove Holmes doing the honors. On these small group sessions, there is little opportunity for any of the other participants to get solo time; the tenor and organ dominate. Ron Carter's bass is almost invisible. The exception is allowed for drummers' Otis "Candy"Finch and Mack Simpkins with their active participation on "Just in Time" and "Cute," respectively. "Rapid Shave" and "Cute" are the two vehicles which allow Turrentine and Scott to do their most adventurous stretching, with some very significant soloing from Scott on both. "Cute" moves toward a boppish mode, away from the soul-laced renderings which characterize the rest of the material. This is a rewarding compilation from a pair of outstanding jazz musicians and is recommended.

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