Friday, February 10, 2012
Stanley Turrentine - Up at Minton's
Unlike most classic/ famous tenor sax players, I have over a dozen "setups," or mouthpiece and reed combinations; my mood changes so much, and so often (family history of mood disorders, you see) that I have a ton of different sounds I want to emulate at any given time; no one sound, is enough in and of itself.
I play tenor sax the most often (of the saxes, I mean) because to me it's the most expressive of the woodwinds; you can sound like an alto, a bari, or even a soprano if the mood strikes you; I would argue that this is not true with any of the other "primary" saxes.
Stanley Turrentine used a metal Otto Link mouthpiece (of which I have several-- you can see one in the above album cover), with a tight facing and a relatively-flexible reed; when I put a Rico 3 (soft), (or a D.C. Alexander Superial 3) on a New York Otto Link 5 (a facing considered so narrow nowadays that I had to request it from a guy --arguably a "weirdo"-- in Texas), if I really wanna, I can sound something like an imitation of Mr. Turrentine-- who was not the most original of players, but I would say, one of the most placid and congenial: he knew what he wanted to play, and he did: easily, without any overt attempt to change the jazz world-- he was just playin,' baby.
Up at Minton's (1961) is Turrentine playing as a pretty young man (compared to, say, Turrentine favorites like Prayer Meetin' or Let It Go*).
It's a rough recording: table chatter, background noise, etc.-- i.e., it's great, daddy-O: just what they played... just how they played it....
"Later at Minton's" is the one of the most played songs on my iTunes (because it's in tenor F and is a long, great, easy, greasy blues), but still....
Opener "Broadway" bops along, as does "But Not For Me," "Stanley's Time" is a classic, as is "Yesterdays," or "Come Rain or Come Shine."
Just enjoy baby, this late- late-night live record.
*Which BTW has a great album cover. I actually did publicity stills for a jazz album a few years ago, and gave the photographer this cover as a ideal visual template.