Stanley Turrentine – Up At Minton’s Vol. 1 – Blue Note ST-84069 / Analogue Productions CBNJ 84069 SA – SACD Stereo, 44:54 [Distr. by Harmonia Mundi] ****:
(Stanley Turrentine, tenor sax; Grant Green, guitar; Horace Parlan, piano; George Tucker, bass; Al Harewood, drums)
Comparing Stanley Turrentine’s 1961 live recording at Minton’s night club on SACD reveals more presence than the Blue Note 1994 CD release. Grant Green’s guitar lines on “But Not For Me” have an analogue “warmness” on the SACD that the red book CD lacks. There is a harshness on the CD that you would not notice until an A/B comparison with the Analogue Productions SACD. Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at Acoustech Mastering should be commended for their SACD mastering.
Stanley Turrentine has always been known for his muscular tenor blowing on par with the Texas school of tenor players as signified by Arnett Cobb and Illinois Jacquet, and continued on today by southerner, Houston Person. Turrentine gives full expression to the blues on “Stanley’s Time.” Al Harewood’s drumming is in full synch with Turrentine here, and the SACD brings you into a center row up front stage seat for the live recording.
Horace Parlan, now living in Denmark, and occasionally still active, is the perfect accompanist for Stanley as he is known for his sympathetic blues based backing. The super-group’s guitarist, Grant Green, as usual rips off chorus after chorus of rapid fire notes as opposed to chordal finger work. Both Grant and Horace shine on “Broadway.” Jerome Kern’s chestnut, “Yesterdays” lets Turrentine’s vibrato melt like warm butter on toast, while George Tucker’s melodic bass solo impresses later on the eleven minute track.
What is especially nice about this live session is that each track exceeds ten minutes in length, giving the band members room to fully lock into the mood and give the relaxed groove a chance to settle over the appreciative audience. What is always striking to me is that the size of the audiences for these classic Blue Note live sessions pales in comparison to the stature of the giants on the band stand. Oh, to have been in attendance at one of these sessions…
TrackList: But Not for Me, Stanley’s Time, Broadway, Yesterdays
— Jeff Krow