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WEDNESDAY 10th MARCH
“THE LISTZI Jan 11 let; 1990
JAZZ Stanley Turrentine
Glasgow: Moir Hall, Sat 30 Jan; Edinburgh: Queen’s Hall, Sun 31 Jan.
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Stanley Turrentine: turning on the saxy style
Stanley Turrentine makes an overdue appearance in the central belt this week, courtesy of a late addition to Assembly Direct’s programme. That programme has been hit by the tragic death of the peerless Michel Petrucciani, which leaves a huge gap in contemporary Jazz. The pianist was scheduled to appear at the Queen's Hall in March, but passed away in a New York hospital almost on the day
the gig was announced in this magazine's preview of 1999.
Turrentine was one of the most successful of the 60s soul-jazz (and later fusion) saxmen. He is revered for his big, blues-drenched sound, rich and burnished on ballads, raw and earthy on uptempo material, and his own self-aware assessment — 'I know I'm not a virtuoso on my instrument, but I am a stylist’ — is spot on. He will always be associated with Blue Note, where he laid down his classic recordings, and was one of the musicians re-signed when the label — which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year — was relaunched in the mid-80$.
Born in Pittsburgh, the saxophonist cut his teeth playing in rhythm and blues bands in the 505 (with Ray Charles and Earl Bostic among others), and made his first significant mark in jazz when he and his late brother, trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, were recruited by Max Roach for his quintet in 1959. He was among the first wave of jazzmen to latch onto soul-jazz in the early Sixties, and helped define one of the most popular and accessible jazz styles of the modern era.
The greasy, down-home feel of the mu5ic was most apparent in the many tenor sax/Hammond organ combinations of the period, and Turrentine worked with his share of organists, including Jimmy Smith and his wrfe of the time, Shirley Scott. For his Scottish dates, however, he will be accompanied by the classiest of our piano trios, the Brian Kellock Trio. (Kenny Mathieson)
Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirk, Fri 22/Fri 29 Jan.
Beethoven, Bach, Berlioz: if pushed, you could probably whistle one of their tunes, or at least recognise their style. But what about the big, romantic 'B', Bruckner 7 Composer of eleven symphonies, most of them over an hour long, his music is hardly top of the pops in British orchestral programming. Yet his is a distinctive and original v0ice of which more should be heard.
Over two evenings, at Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirk, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra present Symphonies Four and Six. The idea was the initiative of BBC Scotland’s Head of Music, Hugh lvlacdonald, who explains Bruckner’s lack of popular
'In this country', he says, ‘there's almost a kind of received wisdom that Bruckner is not good box office, which is not true on the continent, PeOple do have difficulty With the sheer concentration, but it's such passionate, romantic mUSIC that it puzzles me that it's not more Widely performed.‘
Venues may also be a problem, most concert halls haying an acoustic bereft of the resonance needed to hear Bruckner at his best. The church setting of Greylriars Kirk SUlIS perfectly and, says Macdonald, 'lt’s so elavating listening to Bruckner in the right acoustrc‘.’
lvlacdonald describes Bruckner as 'a strange man, With strange obsessions '
Bruckner: his number's up at last
He was a devout Catholic who had a craving for corpses and an intense preoccupation with the concept of numbers.
'He could hardly walk past a brick wall without counting the bricks. But he also had an incredible intellect, being very wrdely read in maths and science,’ says Macdonald. None of this brought him much luck in love, his many attempts to marry being totally unsuccessful.
'He was quite a sad man really,’ says Macdonald ’and could never have proper relationships with women, mainly because he’d have terrible crushes on them but couldn't speak to them.’
Where words failed, his music does not ’He has this way of suspending tiine' says Macdonald, 'and in the right circumstances you can get transported by him.' (Carol Main)