Jazz CD Reviews
Stanley Turrentine – The Spoiler – Blue Note 0946
Published on March 14, 2007
(Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; James Spaulding, alto sax, flute; Pepper Adams, baritone sax; McCoy Tyner, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass, electric bass; Mickey Rocker, drums; Joseph Rivera, shakers, tambourine)
When comparing the RVG remaster to the original CD release of Stanley Turrentine’s The Spoiler, you will find that the sound is far fuller. The drums have been turned up in the mix, the piano sounds sharp and colorful, and the horns have a sweeter, warmer tone than the original mix. But whatever edition of The Spoiler you own, the brilliance of Stanley Turrentine, and the album’s arranger, Duke Pearson, shines through.
Magilla, the first track, is a Pearson composition. Turrentine’s first solo is a marvel of economy, his big tone sharp and sophisticated. Alto sax player James Spaulding delivers a brash, stuttering solo that swings with the song’s feverish rhythm. That rhythm, courtesy of bassist Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker, and Joseph Rivera, is a steamroller. When the Sun Comes Out features a bluesy, melancholy, almost song-long solo from Turrentine, which is augmented by smooth horn swells from the other horn players.
La Fiesta, a song by obscure composer Armando Boza, whom Turrentine heard while in the Panama Canal Zone in 1960, features a solo from Turrentine that is, by turns, jumpy and staccato and then smooth and bluesy. Turrentine dances with the song’s rhythm, matching its bounce and than playing half and whole notes that wash over the energetic percussion. Turrentine and his group give Sonny, the classic song by Bobby Hebb, a wonderful treatment. The way the melody is phrased, it sounds like Turrentine is singing.
Maybe September, the theme to the film The Oscar is truly gorgeous. When comparing the flute at the beginning of the song on the earlier CD edition, there’s a crispness and warmth in the RVG remaster that really enhances Spaulding’s playing. Turrentine’s phrasing is gorgeous and sad, the horns acting as a bedrock to his heartbreaking solos. If you listen closely, you can hear the flute in the background echoing. Whether that was a natural occurrence or studio trickery, it sounds beautiful.
The Spoiler is amazing album, and comparing the original CD edition to the RVG remaster, I would highly recommend the latter. The sound is so much more colorful compared to the sometimes thin sound of the original issue. However, the joy of hearing Turrentine’s big, bluesy tone is going to be there however you hear it.
TrackList: The Magilla, When the Sun Comes Out, La Fiesta, Sunny, Maybe September, You‚re Gonna Hear From Me, Lonesome Lover.
– Daniel Krow