Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stanley Turrentine Ballads Blue Note 1993

When it comes to Stanley Turrentine reissues or collections, with the exception of the two disc set of the original Blue Hour sessions then Ballads is certainly the next on the list under the Turrentine discography.

Opening with "Willow Weep For Me" off Blue Hour this is an exceptional journey through the ballad repertoire of one of the finer tenor players to work the "ballads and blues" vibe to sheer and utter perfection. Blue Hour was a 1960 release and while the rest of the tunes which include such standards as "Since I Fell For You" which is actually off the Blue Hour sessions as well, there is only one tune on the collection released after 1983. "A Child Is Born" was from the 1984 classic Straight Ahead and feature George Benson on guitar, Jimmy Smith on organ, Ron Carter on bass and Jimmy Madison on drums.

Some of the older ballads that fill out this incredible set include "God Bless The Child" from the 1963 recording Never Let Me GO and includes his wife Shirley Scott on organ and Major Holley on bass. "Watch What Happens: is from the 1969 release Ain't No Way and includes McCoy Tyner on piano along with the great Billy Cobham on drums.

Looking for a ballads recording? Blue Note has several first rate reissues in Ike Quebec and Dexter Gordon but you would be hard pressed to find one that is as consistent from open to close as Stanley Turrentine. With the exception of a couple of Stan Getz recordings that come to mind, there is simply none better. I had the great pleasure to hang out with Stanley Turrentine between sets on his last Louisville show. A true gentleman that spoke with great joy concerning his days with Blue Note and said the secret - practise...I believe that holds true for all things.

Tracks: Willow Weep For Me; Since I Fell For You; Then I'll Be Tired Of You; Someone To Watch Over Me; They All Say I'm The Biggest Fool; More Than You Know; God Bless The Child; Watch What Happens; A Child Is Born.