Saxophonist Brandon Allen will launch The Stanley Turrentine Project (Ubuntu Music) on 4 March at the 606 Club. The album pays tribute to the music of one of his influences, Stanley Turrentine. The single Fool on the Hill” is released today. Embed below Charles Rees writes…
Ask any saxophonist about their influences, most will name Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000). His trademark style blended bop with the rhythm and blues sounds emanating at the time from American inner cities, primarily Detroit and Philadelphia. Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (a four hour drive from Philly), Turrentine grew up surrounded by such sounds. This upbringing heavily informed his musical development: just listen to such records as Jimmy Smith’s Back at the Chicken Shack – on which he is a featured artist – as well as his other Bluenote recordings, both as a leader and a sideman; not to mention his CTI records (Sugar, Salt Song…), which are among the most seminal jazz-fusion releases of the ’70s. All are universally beloved by jazz fans. It is from this rich discography that Brandon Allen draws the inspiration for his latest project…
Allen, a Western Australia-born saxophonist and composer, has resided in the UK for over two decades. In that time, he has established himself as a leading exponent of (primarily) the tenor sax, recording and performing with Kyle Eastwood, Adam Nussbaum, Quentin Collins – who he has had a long-running musical relationship with – and many others. His credentials speak for them self: an in-demand session musician, having been called on by such names as Eric Clapton, Paloma Faith, Neil Diamond and Gary Barlow, and an accomplished film and TV composer.
He also keeps up a steady stream of his own projects, some of which have lead to albums. One such example is The Gene Ammons Project, released by Allen in 2016 (reviewed for LJN by Mark McKergow). It payed tribute to Ammons by featuring a set of songs that made the Chicago-born saxophonist his name, as well as several of his originals. Allen carries over this formula for The Stanley Turrentine Project…
Some of the tracks are numbers of which Turrentine made famous recordings, like “Love for Sale” and “Little Green Apples”. Rather than churning out yet another cover of “Sugar” or “Minor Chant”, Allen has included a selection of lesser-known Turrentine compositions: “And Satisfy”, “Let It Go” and “Mississippi Strut”. The set is presented with a healthy mix of styles, from bop to fusion, providing a faithful overview of the subject and his career. Allen explained; “basically, I’m reimagining the music. It’s not a direct tribute, but it’s certainly a homage; not trying to play like Stanley Turrentine, but taking some of the tunes and being inspired by the vibe of it.”
For this project, Allen recruited a quartet comprised of Will Barry on keyboards, Conor Chaplin on bass (upright and electric), and Dave Ingamells on drums. The Stanley Turrentine Project (Ubuntu) will be released on 4 March and launched that night at the 606 Club. In the meantime, “The Fool on the Hill”, a track from the album, has been released as a single:
Allen and his band are taking the music on tour around the UK throughout March.
March 4 at 606 Club (CD launch)
March 10 at Leicester Jazz House
March 11 at Bristol Beacon Foyer
March 13 at Hampton Hub Club
March 18 in Luton, at The Bear Club
March 19 in Nottingham, at Peggy’s Skylight
March 20 in Croydon, at The Oval Tavern
March 29 in Birmingham, at Eastside Jazz Club
LINK: Brandon Allen’s website