Steve Turre: trombone, shells; Kenny Barron: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums + Javon Jackson: tenor sax; Cyro Baptista: percussion.
Steve Turre is probably the most influential trombonist in business within the bop and post bop styles.
For this colorful venture, entitled Colors For The Masters, he got the backing of a truly masterful rhythm section composed of the limitless pianist Kenny Barron, the colossal bassist Ron Carter, and the still-powerhouse drummer Jimmy Cobb. Guest appearances by saxophonist Javon Jackson and percussionist Cyro Baptista facilitate the addition of extra color throughout a body of work that clings to bop, blues, ballads, jazz standards, and Latin/Brazilian grooves.
Turre wrote “Taylor Made” assuming influences from Ray Charles and Art Blakey, two giants in their very own styles, with whom he toured in the 70’s. Obeying to a traditional structure and moving in the direction of the blues, the tune displays a pleasurable swinging groove in addition to joyful improvisations.
With “Quietude”, which translates to quietness, the mood shifts to what the title suggests, and we find solace in Turre’s beautiful melodies, the gentle chords of Barron, the subtleness of Carter’s low notes, and Cobb’s relaxing brushwork.
“JoCo Blues” is another boppish original from Turre written for John Coltrane.
The band embarks on several renditions of classic jazz tunes such as the brisk “Coffee Pot” by J.J. Johnson, an influence and inspiration to the trombonist, Monk’s “Reflections”, which gained the shape of a lullaby, Wayne Shorter’s terrific waltz “United", and the soothing jazz standard “When Sunny Gets Blue”, here enriched through improvisations that found the perfect balance between melody and rhythm. There's also Jobim’s “Corcovado” in which Turre resorts to the conch shells to generate distinct sounds over the Latin vibrancies and Brazilian rhythms.
In the cheerful “Mellow D for RC”, a tribute to Ron Carter, bandleader and honoree traded fours after the soloists have their way. The title track is initially set with a modal approach that shifts into a hasty swing with Latin touches.
Turre has all the reasons to be proud of his new album. The same way he honors the jazz masters, he’s certainly also honored for having their support to create great music. In truth, he’s a master himself, who continues to color with freshness the traditional jazz forms.
01 – Taylor Made ► 02 – Quietude ► 07 – Colors For the Masters