Jazz CD Reviews

Steve Turre – Delicious And Delightful – High Note

Delightful, Indeed.

Published on July 15, 2010

Steve Turre – Delicious And Delightful – High Note

Steve Turre – Delicious And Delightful – High Note HCD 7210, 57:32 ****:

(Steve Turre, trombone & shells; Billy Harper, tenor saxophone; Larry Willis, piano; Russell Malone, guitar; Corcoran Holt, bass; Pedro Martinez, Bata & djembe drums; Dion Parson, drums)

On his latest release on High Note Records, Steve Turre surrounds himself with some familiar faces and, while keeping the relaxed and easy rhythms of his 2008 release Rainbow People, explores a variety of different compositions. Turre brings back Dion Parson on drums from 2006’s Keep Searchin’ and adds impressive newcomer Corcoran Holt on bass to round out his rhythm section. He completes the band with label mate Larry Willis on piano and old friend Billy Harper on tenor sax.

The album starts with Light Within, composed by Harper. Turre opens in classic style, with light playing on three different types of shells. When Harper eventually comes in to double Turre on the main theme, the interaction of the two instruments is warm and lively. Harper has a laid-back solo, followed by Turre and then Willis. Turre’s solo especially plays off the tight rhythm section. Parson distinguishes himself with complex, energetic playing that effortlessly settles into a strong groove.

Next is Duke Rays, which works off Ellington’s In a Mellotone. Turre starts off the track and settles the melody into its slow deep swing. Holt’s walking bass line is subtle and easily lost in the mix, but nevertheless forms the heart of the track‘s groove. Harper’s solo near the three and half minute mark is probably his best work on the album. Willis follows him with a brief, sparse solo. Towards the end of the song the band falls back and lets Holt take focus. Even when all of the attention is on him he continues to play subtly and quietly, and scores the best solo on the track.  

Dance Of The Gazelles is probably the best track on the record.. It begins with a funky rhythm line from Holt, upon which Willis lays a surreal and repetitive melody. This mysterious theme, aided by guest percussionist Pedro Martinez on Bata and Djembe drums, settle into a deep trance until Turre starts braying lightly over it. Martinez extends his solo by teasing it out instead off erupting with sound. Around the five and a half minute mark Willis has a superb, delirious and off-kilter solo.

The title track, Delicious And Delightful, opens with guest Russell Malone on guitar, followed by the horns sections playing an energetic, upbeat theme. They riff on the theme for quite some time, until Turre has a chance to slow down and dissect it. Malone follows with a tricky playful solo, and Harper responds with the most frenetic playing on the album.

Blackfoot starts with Holt playing a drum roll to announce that this will be his track. He takes center stage as the band plays between his drum breaks for about a minute until Harper lets loose with all of the energy that the composition has built up. His solo flies out like he is worried he won’t be able to finish in time. This forces Turre to up his game and  he lets loose a furious solo. Toward the end of the song Parson takes control again, barely letting the band in between his intense drum breaks.

Delicious and Delightful continues the string of quality records from Turre and will impress and delight any of his fans.

TrackList: Light Within, Duke Rays, Speak To Me Of Love, Speak To Me Of Truth, Dance Of The Gazelles, Delicious And Delightful, Tenderly, Sunala Nobala, Blackfoot, Ray’s Collared Greens

– Ethan Krow

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