Mr. T & the Big Band Sound
dwood78 | Long Beach, CA USA | 10/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While this is not an album per se, it doesn't feel like a collection of songs that Turrentine recored with a big band in two sessions in 1967.
The first 7 songs were recorded in Feb. & were later appeared in two LPs released in the mid-late 1970s. Ranging from an orginal (the opening track) to bossa novas, & standards. "Here's That Rainy Day" is a very hunting song. "Night Song" is also interesting, with its nighttime feeling.
The last 5 songs were recorded in June & were in the Blue Note vaults (IE never issued til now). These songs have more of a big band sound than the previous tunes. Morely of Henry Mancini songs, they're very upbeat esp. the last 2 tracks on this disc.
Overall, Duke Pearson did a good job with the arrangements. But I did wish he allowed for the other musicians to solo. The people in these two sessions are a who's who of jazz greats. From pianists Kenny Barron & McCoy Tyner to trumpeters Donald Byrd & Blue Mitchell, flute player Joe Farrell & baritone saxman Pepper Adams, to name a few. Some of these musicians do have solos, but they are often brief (the pianists are the exceptions).
Yet, this recording was a surprise with its previous & unreleased material. Definitely buy this if you're a jazz fan.
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 12/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On occasion, while cruising the bins at one of the big box stores, I encounter something unexpected at a good price. That's how I found this! I am a huge fan of Stanley Turrentine, particularly his Blue Note and CTI years, so it was only while reading the liner notes in the informative booklet that accompanies A Bluish Bag that I realized why I neither seen nor heard this album before. That's because until now it had never been released that way. Instead, this release is a collection of remastered tunes that are the result of a series of sessions originally recorded for Blue Note in 1967. Some had been scattered around on other albums, some are being heard again for the first time since they were recorded.
The listener gets nearly seventy minutes of quite remarkable jazz. Some of it sways a la bossa nova and some of the rest swings in the funkiest cool jazz tradition. My favorites include the snappy Blues for Del, an exquisite take on Jobim's She's a Carioca, What Now My Love, Days of Wine and Roses, and the title cut. But the best is a quite spectacular rendition of Manha Da Carnaval, which in my opinion is one of the finest movie (Orfeu Negro) themes ever written and one which brought composer Luis Bonfa and the bossa nova sound worldwide popularity.
In addition to some very tasty Turrentine chops, you get an all-star ensemble that includes at various times such jazz greats as Donald Byrd, Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams, Ron Carter, Blue Mitchell, McCoy Tyner and many other lesser-known but still excellent jazzbos. Throw in arrangements by Duke Pearson and hire Rudy Van Gelder as engineer and you just know that A Bluish Bag is going to be a quality piece of work!
This collection of unburied treasures comes obviously recommended. A reading of the liner notes suggests a promise of more to come. I can't wait!"
A very nice collection of tunes
D. Bartholome | Highlands, TX USA | 08/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviews have explained the genesis of this album, so I won't repeat it--but I have to say, I continue to be amazed at the amount of great music Blue Note didn't issue at the time it was recorded. This is a really nice collection. Stanley is, as always, a pleasure to listen to, so laid back, but in a gutsier, more muscular way than Stan Getz (who I also love). And the Duke Jordan arrangements are wonderful. Such beautiful harmonies and textures. I'm really digging the sound of this "downsized" big band (most cuts feature nine or ten players). The harmonic richness is there, but it's never overpowering, and it consistently avoids big-band cliches. If you like Stanley's "Rough 'N' Tumble" or "The Spoiler," then you will dig this set. Same general instrumental format, all Duke Jordan arrangements."