12 Jul Stanley Turrentine – 1968 – Common Touch

Stanley Turrentine – 1968 – Common Touch

A really great later Blue Note session from Stanley Turrentine, a small combo set that’s almost a return to the format of earlier years! The group’s a strong one and features Shirley Scott on organ, Jimmy Ponder on guitar, and Idris Muhammad on drums playing in a style that’s subtler and more laidback than his work with Lou Donaldson, but which still has a nice funk undercurrent. Stan’s horn is in wonderful form on the record – really taking advantage of the longer tracks to open up with a mellow and exploratory tone – and the team of Scott and Ponder especially sounds great next to each other on the album. 

Tracks
A1 Buster Brown 5:20
A2 Blowin’ in the Wind 5:45
A3 Lonely Avenue 8:02
B1 Boogaloo 6:20
B2 Common Touch 6:15
B3 Living Through It All 7:15

By Don E. Marchione

This 1968 recording represents soul-jazz at its best.

I’ve always enjoyed Stanley Turrentine’s full sax sound. Many modern players seem to be afflicted with the mistaken concept that soulful sax playing demands that the highest notes be grabbed at all times. This, unfortunately, becomes repetitious, trite and ineffective in short order. Turrentine knew, better than most, how to coax the emotion out of his instrument without reaching for high notes any more than was necessary. This soul-jazz release is drenched with feeling. 

Bob Dylan fans might be put off by Turrentine’s up-tempo version of Blowin’ In The Wind and view it as a misinterpretation of the song’s intent. I think that Turrentine’s rendition works just fine. The final track, Ain’t No Way, was written by Carolyn Franklin

This was a small group session in which Turrentine was assisted greatly by his then wife, Shirley Scott, on what sounds like a Hammond B-3 organ. Ms. Scott plays with much feeling and restraint and provides soulful body in all of the compositions. I always found her contributions tasteful and enjoyable. She was never flamboyant or self-indulgent, at least during her sessions with Mr. Turrentine.

If you enjoy soul-jazz, I highly recommend this release.

By Douglas Payne

Blue Note’s been digging deep in the vaults and turned up one long-forgotten gem in Common Touch , a joint production between the former husband-and-wife team of Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott. Ms. Scott has always been a vastly underrated organ player who crafted her own light and airy sound out of some dead-serious blues. She was also a much better-suited partner to her ex-husband’s deep, rich and individual tenor than even Jimmy Smith. There’s clearly an unmistakable emotional telepathy here. The Turrentines recorded on more than a dozen occasions throughout the 60s for a variety of labels (Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse and Atlantic); the best of which is Turrentine’s Let It Go (Impulse) and Never Let Me Go (Blue Note) and Scott’s Blue Flames , The Soul Is Willing , Soul Shoutin and this late entry from 1968, Common Touch.

What makes this different is the addition of the agile guitarist Jimmy Ponder (like Turrentine, a Pittsburgh native) and a markedly funkier edge — nothing Turrentine, Scott, Ponder, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Idris Muhammed couldn’t do in their sleep. Common Touch rocks with a funky groove that is catchy and thoughtful all at once. “Buster Brown” simmers at a boil without condescending or collapsing.

Ms. Scott’s hot “Boogaloo“, featured on last year’s The Lost Groovescompilation from Blue Note, works some sparkling interplay into a hip-grinding groove. And just when you think no jazz could loosen up Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind“, listen to how funky it gets here. A bonus is the addition of a long, sizzling blues recorded by more or less the same group earlier in the year, “Ain’t No Way” (from a from May 1968 session that was eventually featured as the title cut to an album released under Turrentine’s name in 1981). The joy of this zesty release is the chemistry of the rhythm section and the ideal combination of the tenor player, his former wife and the guitarist from his hometown. Good tunes, great playing and talented players make this a real winner. 

Even though popular opinion in jazz circles seems to deny it, the Blue Note legacy includes some first-class music after Alfred Lion sold the label to Liberty in 1967. Common Touch is a great example.

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16 Comments
  • Jordan
    Posted at 20:14h, 12 July 2018 Reply

    this is simply beautiful

  • Stefan
    Posted at 20:16h, 12 July 2018 Reply

    So smooth and so strong!! Love it!!

  • Carlos
    Posted at 18:21h, 13 July 2018 Reply

    Adoro esse album!!!

  • Namo
    Posted at 18:34h, 13 July 2018 Reply

    Don’t get any better than this. :-):-)

  • Bill
    Posted at 10:05h, 14 July 2018 Reply

    Outstanding album……awesome SAX

  • Nikolas
    Posted at 10:07h, 14 July 2018 Reply

    another legendary album by the master saxman

  • Thomas
    Posted at 18:51h, 14 July 2018 Reply

    beautifully charming.

  • Serena
    Posted at 19:24h, 14 July 2018 Reply

    This is Dope!

  • Donald
    Posted at 22:24h, 14 July 2018 Reply

    I really miss music like this ❤❤

  • Susan
    Posted at 00:55h, 15 July 2018 Reply

    I haven’t heard this in a while! Thank you. It is truly inspiring.

  • Nolan
    Posted at 23:45h, 15 July 2018 Reply

    I am SO glad I grew up in the era when great music like this was being produced!! I have this LP…

  • Kefal5
    Posted at 09:02h, 18 July 2018 Reply

    My goodness these are great songs. 

  • Darco
    Posted at 09:04h, 18 July 2018 Reply

    Thank you. Amazing one.

  • D Martino
    Posted at 11:25h, 19 July 2018 Reply

    another gr8 discovery 😀

  • Semoki
    Posted at 11:43h, 19 July 2018 Reply

    Excellent choice and reviews. Bless yall.

  • Steven
    Posted at 19:53h, 19 July 2018 Reply

    Absolutely brilliant song and album

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