One of a Kind
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So much for the nonsense about the importance of having the right "connections." It didn't matter that Tommy was the brother of the celebrated tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. He still produced no more than a single album and went largely unrecognized, even by the "general" jazz public.
At least he made the most of that one shot. This album is inspired, kicking, swinging--a mix of original tunes that somehow manage to sound accessible and familiar even if you haven't heard them. Trombonist Julian Priester and brother Stanley play with equal amounts of passion and precision, but Tommy's no-nonsense, thoughtful and melodic, exquisitely crafted boppish lines are the main attraction. His articulations are crisp, his range impressive, his tone open and unconcealed.
The tunes range from basic and bluesy ("Gunga Din") to intricate compositions ("Too Clean") with tight unisons as well as clearly delineated counterpoint. It doesn't hurt that Max Roach and Horace Parlan are in the rhythm section, but even so the readings evidence some rehearsal time on the part of the musicians. The audio is well-balanced with none of the gratuitous boosting of the bass frequencies that marred (sometimes ruined) many recordings that would come in the '70s. The liner notes are by Nat Hentoff.
I caught Tommy once--with James Moody at Slug's in NYC--and he impressed me even before I knew about the family connection. If further proof were needed of his singular talent, this album provides it."