JFASN is back in the saddle again! The last two tumultuous weeks saw the death of my four year old Gateway laptop computer AND the death, five days later, of my trusty workhorse, the desktop computer (still running Windows XP Professional) that had been custom-built for me in 2001 or 2002 by Gateway Computers.

Two weeks later, I have my new laptop, made by Samsung, running pretty much the way I want it to. I love the quickness of it, but I have to tell you I am not sold on Windows 8 or the “aps” it came loaded with.

Microsoft Office is hardly an “ap,” but as I’m writing this article it is becoming apparent to me that there are some quirks to Word 2013 that I am having an interesting time getting used to.

For example, I have created a template that I use for these blog posts. Among other things, the template helps ensure that I don’t forget the Copyright notice at the bottom. Every time I go to save my post, Word 2013 asks me if I want to save those changes to my template also.

Word 2007 never asked that stupid question one time. Word 2013 asks it every time. Frankly, it got old after the second time, but there does not seem to be any way to disable that bug. I promise you, I will keep looking.

All of this makes me wonder if I can re-install Office 2007 Professional on this machine along with Office 2013 Home And Business? I suppose the spoilsports at Microsoft have something embedded in the code that will only allow one legitimate, registered version of Office per machine without sending the Software Police to my door.

::sigh:: It’s times like this that I really, truly miss my Commodore 64.

I also have to say that for the price I paid for this thing, Samsung could have sprung for a better built-in webcam than the .9 megapixel weakling this thing has. The resolution, frankly, sucks. (My cell phone, one of the original Motorola RAZR’s, has a better camera, although not by much.)

On the positive side, when I power up the Samsung, it comes on right away. Two minutes later, I’m working. With the Gateway, I would turn it on and then go find something else to do for ten or fifteen minutes because it was that long before the Gateway would finally be ready to run a program. Likewise, shutting down the Samsung is quick, much faster than the Gateway was.

Then there is the matter that when you buy a Samsung, or at least when you buy the Samsung that I bought, you pay top dollar and in return get a laptop that has no CD/DVD or even BluRay player.

That sucks majorly, and had I noticed that deficiency before I left the store, I would have returned the Samsung and waited for the H-P laptop (which I really wanted in the first place) to come into stock again. The H-P has a CD/DVD player and is priced $50 less.

But enough moaning and groaning about the vagarities of computers. Let’s get on to the music!

Tenor sax giant Stanley Turrentine was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born there on April 5, 1934 and he died in New York City on September 12, 2000. Over the years he played with many of the luminaries of the golden age of jazz, including Ray Charles, Max Roach, Lowell Fulson, and Jimmy Smith. In 1961 he married organist Shirley Scott.

Turrentine’s most well-known album is undoubtedly the 1970 release, “Sugar,” which was a huge crossover hit for him. Over the years he released several albums, including the one I want to talk about this week, 1963’s “Never Let Me Go” on the Blue Note Label.

The personnel for “Never Let Me Go” are:

Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax

Shirley Scott, organ

Major Holley, bass (tracks 1-5, 7)

Sam Jones, bass (tracks 7 & 8)

Al Harewood, drums (tracks 1-5, 7)

Clarence Johnson, drums (tracks 7 & 8)

Ray Barretto, congas (tracks 1-5, 7)

The RVG reissue CD from this album presents us with eight songs, one more than the original vinyl LP had.

Up first is the lively “Trouble” from the pens of Harold Logan and Lloyd Price. The guys (and Ms. Scott) jump right out of the gate with this one. Scott’s solos show us that being Turrentine’s wife is not the only reason she is part of these proceedings.

Here are Stanley, Shirley and the guys performing “Trouble”:

Skipping ahead to track three we find “Sara’s Dance,” written by Turrentine’s trumpet-playing brother Tommy. This is a great song with an arrangement that brings out the best of everyone involved. Scott opens it, followed immediately by drummer Harewood, who keeps time nicely. Turrentine steps in seconds later and takes the lead. “Sara’s Dance” is a wonderfully melodic song, and this group more than does it justice.

Here is “Sara’s Dance”:

“Without A Song” follows. This one was written by Vincent Youmans, Edward Elsicu and Billy Rose. It was included on the album, ironically, because one of Turrentine’s friends had repeatedly requested it one evening shorty before the recording session. Eventually Turrentine and Scott relented and played it for him, and in so doing they discovered they really enjoyed it. Hence its appearance here, a delightful addition whatever the reason.

“Major’s Minor” was written by Turrentine and Scott. I really don’t know what to say about this one except you’ll love it! This charming refrain naturally brings out the best in both principals, and the guys in the rhythm section back them to the hilt.

You’re going to love listening to “Major’s Minor”:

The last song from “Never Let Me Go” that I want to write about is from the prolific pens of the songwriting team of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. I am speaking of the classic stalker’s theme song, “You’ll Never Get Away From Me.” 😉

Joking aside, this is a superb song from the Broadway musical “Gypsy,” and the whole crew pulls out the stops and give it their all. Writing in the original liner notes, Nat Hentoff stated that “You’ll Never Get Away From Me” is seldom performed by jazz combos. I hope the fifty years that have passed since he wrote that has seen a change to that. Once you hear “You’ll Never Get Away From Me,” you will too.

I’m pretty sure you know what I am going to say next. All in all, I believe you will find Stanley Turrentine’s “Never Let Me Go” to be an outstanding addition to your personal playlist, for a Saturday or any other night!

To learn more about Stanley Turrentine and his music, you can read all about him on a tribute site set up by the iconsofjazz.com folks. NPR has a nice page about him, here. And the folks at jazzdisco.org have a truly impressive, encyclopedic discography of nearly every album Turrentine appeared on here.

Thank you for reading this.

Al Evans

Your comments about this article and/or the subject are welcome! Please use the “Add a comment” area below. Rude, abusive comments and spam will be deleted.

Thank you! J

Copyright © 2013 by Al Evans. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Jazz For A Saturday Night #79: Stanley Turrentine

  1. Pingback: Lowell Fulson – San Francisco Blues | mostly music

  2. Pingback: Jazz For A Saturday Night #92: Marvin Stamm | jazz for a saturday night

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