Cultural Percussionist

Stanley Turrentine Day

Stanley William Turrentine (April 5, 1934 – September 12, 2000) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He began his career playing soul jazz for Blue Note Records, touched on jazz fusion during a stint on CTI Records in the 1970s, and was described by critic Steve Huey as “renowned for his distinctively thick, rippling tone [and] earthy grounding in the blues.” Turrentine was married to organist Shirley Scott in the 1960s, with whom he frequently recorded, and was the younger brother of trumpeter Tommy Turrentine.

Turrentine was born in Pittsburgh‘s Hill District into a musical family. His father, Thomas Turrentine, Sr., was a saxophonist with Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans, his mother played stride piano, and his older brother Tommy Turrentine became a professional trumpet player.

He began his prolific career with blues and rhythm and blues bands, and was at first greatly influenced by Illinois Jacquet. In the 1950s, he went on to play with the groups of Lowell Fulson and Earl Bostic.

Turrentine received his only formal musical training during his military stint in the mid-’50s. In 1959, he left the military and went straight into the band of the drummer Max Roach.

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