West Side Highway reunites Stanley Turrentine with arranger/conductor Claus Ogerman for a funky yet oddly melancholy crossover session that at its best suggests a latter-day interpretation of the tenorist's classic Blue Note dates. Ogerman's bold, dramatic arrangements boast an atypical elegance and restraint that beautifully underline the soulfulness of Turrentine's solos. Even better, the backing vocals that hampered previous LPs are absent here, affording a new spaciousness for the all-star contributions of Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree, Ron Carter, and Hubert Laws. A shame the material is so tepid and predictable, including yet another reading of Turrentine's signature "Sugar" and the jazz perennial "Walkin'."
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