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Steve Turre: Colors for the Masters

Steve Turre

On his new recording, "Colors for the Masters", trombonist Steve Turre makes us aware of those who came before, who had a profound influence on his musical life. And he does this with living legends Kenny Barron on piano, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jimmy Cobb, all who influenced Turre's own development as a master himself.

Inside the music the homage shines brightly. On the opener, "Taylor Made", a Turre original, there's a sanctified to Ray Charles and Art Blakey, both who Turre spent time with. It's also the first of four tunes featuring special guest saxophonist Javon Jackson, himself once a jazz messenger.

Turre's "Quietude" has Barron's gorgeous piano work in tandem with the leader's beautiful tones. As Barron said to Todd Barkan in the liner notes, " for me, this session was a rare opportunity to work with one of the best trombone players on the planet, a uniquely talented musical storyteller with a great amount of melodic creativity."

Turre's "JoCo Blue" sets a modal mood for his trombone and Jackson's tenor to go exploring.

There's also "Coffee Pot", a burner written by J.J. Johnson. Steve explains to Barkan, "I always strive to maintain J.J.'s artistic intensity in everything I do."

You'll hear the collective reflect on Monk, with Steve's muted work, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, featuring guest Cyro Baptista's percussion and Turre's legendary shell work on "Corcovado".

There's no more beautiful treatment of "When Sunny Gets Blue" than the one presented here, a testament to plungers of past, always part of Steve's musical condition.

For those who remember Turre's work with iconic trumpeter Woody Shaw, the version of Wayne Shorter's "United" played here will evoke a wide smile.

The leader uses a cup mute to express his affinity for Ron Carter on the original "Mellow D for R.C.", with another expression from Jackson's sax on this mid-tempo mover.

Turre's background with Latin legends Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, and work with Dizzy Gillespie illuminates the title track.

A look back, paid forward. As Turre said to writer Barkan, "The more I listen to where I come from, the more I know where I'm going."

You'll be glad you went along.

"Colors for the Masters" comes out August 26 from Smoke Sessions.


Gary Walker / Morning Jazz

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