Turrentine, Stanley (William)

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Turrentine, Stanley (William)

Turrentine, Stanley (William), jazz-fusion tenor saxophonist; b. Pittsburgh, April 5, 1934; d. N.Y., Sept. 12, 2000. He played with Lowell Fulson, Earl Bostic, and others, then made his first records while with Max Roach in 1958. He formed his own group and married organist Shirley Scott, working with her through the 1960s; made solo LPs on Blue Note, as well as recording with Jimmy Smith, Ike Quebec, and others. He and Scott separated in 1971. One of the first key artists to join the record label CTI in 1970, he established himself as a top-selling artist with that albums for that label (Sugar, Salt Song),Fantasy Records (Pieces of Dreams)from 1974-78, and later with Elektra; some of his jazz albums reached the Top 200 in the U.S. Many find his work since the 1970s overly commercial, although at his best he maintained a hard-driving funky sound that lesser artists never achieved. In the later 1990s, he returned to playing more straight-ahead jazz.

His brother, Tommy (Thomas Walter Jr.; b. Pittsburgh, April 22, 1928; d. N.Y, May 13, 1957) was a trumpeter who is said to have worked with Coltrane in Gay Crosse’s band in early 1952. He struggled with drug addiction throughout his career. Active from the 1960s as a freelancer in N.Y, he enjoyed a long association with saxophonist Clarence “C” Sharpe playing in small N.Y. clubs through the 1970s and 1980s. He also composed and arranged for various leaders, including Stanley. Another brother, Marvin, plays drums.


Stan the Man Turrentine (1959); Blue Hour (1960); Up at Minton’s, Vol. 1, 2 (1961); Never Let Me Go (1963); Joyride (1965); Spoiler (1966); Sugar (1970); In Concert (1973); Nightwings (1977); Mr. Natural (1981); Straight Ahead (1984); Ballads (1993); If I Could (1993); Three of a Kind Meet Mr. T (1995); Time (1995).

—Music Master Jazz/Lewis Porter