Music of Stanley Turrentine - Jazz at Lincoln Center


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Celebrating Pittsburgh
With The Music of Stanley Turrentine ***
Soul Jazz in The Allen Room

February 16, 17, 18, 2006 - Pittsburgh Festival
Featuring Guest Artists: Eric Alexander (tenor), Robert Stewart (tenor), Gene Ludwig (Hammond B-3 organ), Grady Tate (drums), Dave Stryker (guitar)

New York, NY (January 6, 2006) The music of the late, great tenor saxophonist, Stanley Turrentine is showcased in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Pittsburgh Festival from February 16-18, 2006. Mr. Turrentine was best-known for his Blue Note soul-jazz jams of the 1960s and 1970s. Works of the Pittsburgh-born saxophonist will be performed by special guests Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone), Robert Stewart (tenor saxophone), Gene Ludwig (Hammond B3 organ), Grady Tate (drums) and Dave Stryker (guitar). Tickets for The Music of Stanley Turrentine are $40, $75 and $130, and available at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office on Broadway at 60th St., by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or via www.jalc.org.

Prepare yourself for soulful swingin' in the tradition of the music master, Mr. Turrentine. Two heavyweight tenors will take the lead, backed by a rockin' rhythm section (including the incomparable Grady Tate on drums) to make this an evening to remember. Top-flight musicians combined with the incredible acoustics and breath-taking views of The Allen Room. See what the critics have been raving about!

Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2005-06 season is entitled Jazz From Coast to Coast, where the major jazz cities are spotlighted. Celebrating the city of Pittsburgh, this festival will focus on the city's long history in jazz and the many famous names that have come from the Steel City including Billy Strayhorn, songwriter Billy Eckstine, Mary Lou Williams and percussionist Art Blakey, with whom Wynton Marsalis spent his early days.

Across Frederick P. Rose Hall from The Allen Room to Rose Theater, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Mr. Marsalis will welcome special guest artists Jeff “Tain" Watts and Steve Nelson to perform some of the best jazz emanating from Pittsburgh on February 16-18. Its all part of the Pittsburgh Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Eric Alexander Bio
Eric Alexander has been exploring new musical worlds from the outset. He started out on piano as a six-year-old, took up clarinet at nine, switched to alto sax when he was 12, and converted to tenor when jazz became his obsession during his one year at the University of Indiana, Bloomington (1986-87). At William Paterson College in New Jersey he advanced his studies under the tutelage of Mabern, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, and others. “The people I listened to in college are still the cats that are influencing me today," says Mr. Alexander. “Monk, Dizzy, Sonny Stitt, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson--the legacy left by Bird and all the bebop pioneers, that language and that feel, that's the bread and butter of everything I do. George Coleman remains a big influence because of his very hip harmonic approach, and I'm still listening all the time to Coltrane because I feel that even in the wildest moments of his mid- to late-Sixties solos I can find these little kernels of melodic information and find ways to employ them in my own playing."

Boasting a warm, finely burnished tone and a robust melodic and harmonic imagination, the tenor saxophonist brings a seasoned veteran's proficiency and poise to his latest recording, Nightlife in Tokyo. As on his four previous Milestone albums as a leader, the 34-year-old colossus-on-the-rise approached this new project with an assured and mature musical vision, gracefully sidestepping the novelties and trends that have come to the fore in so much contemporary jazz marketing.

“I'm not consciously trying to do things differently from record date to record date," explains the Galesburg, Illinois native. “I'm just really adhering to formula of assembling good musicians that I'm comfortable playing with, getting quality material--a combination of originals and standards and perhaps some new arrangements on standard tunes--and trying to make the kind of recording that a jazz fan or musician can put on and enjoy listening to from start to finish."

Robert Stewart Bio
Amazingly, Robert Stewart did not even begin to play the saxophone until the age of 17. Born and raised in Oakland, California, basketball had been the primary interest of his youth. His 6'4" frame earned him varsity shooting guard status on his high school basketball team. Then he heard the music of John Coltrane and Ben Webster and the rest is history. Wynton Marsalis (whom Mr. Stewart first met and played with in a jam session in Oakland, CA over a decade ago) hired him for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, in which he did a four year stint. Mr. Stewart appears on Mr. Marsalis' They Came To Swing and the Pulitzer prize winning Blood On The Fields.

Gene Ludwig Bio
Gene Ludwig was born September 4, 1937 in Twin Rocks, Pennsylvania. Four years later his family moved to Swissvale, where he spent most of his youth. Mr. Ludwig's mother provided young Gene with piano lessons as early as the first grade and witnessed his musical growth from then on. Mr. Ludwig was influenced by the music of Ramsey Lewis, Horace Silver, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Bryant and Jimmy Smith. “From '43 to about '55, I took formal training on piano," he says. “Around '57 I met Jimmy Smith and heard the Hammond...and I knew that's what I wanted to be: a Hammond organ player." More recently, with the release of Mr. Ludwig's 1998 CD titled, Back on the Track, came a resurgence of fresh energy. Three other CD's have been released since. A live recording from the Blue Note in Las Vegas is awaiting release.

Grady Tate Bio
Grady Tate was born in Durham, North Carolina on January 14, 1932. He began singing at age 4 and taught himself drumming at age 5. His early performances were at church and social events. He graduated from North Carolina Central University with a degree in English Literature and Drama and a minor in Psychology. He later taught English and Speech in Washington D.C. Pursuing an acting career, he moved to New York. At age 27, he became the full-time drummer for organist Wild Bill Davis. Later Dr. Tate joined Quincy Jones' All-Star Big Band and by the mid-sixties, Dr. Tate was one of the busiest studio drummers in New York City. His natural talent as a vocalist was recognized when the legendary Peggy Lee heard him sing and introduced him as a part of her show. A dedicated educator and mentor to young singers and musicians, Dr. Tate has been on the Howard University faculty since 1989. He's played with Quincy Jones, Jimmy Smith, Tony Bennett, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Pearl Bailey, Peggy Lee, Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin, Andre Previn and many more. He was also the drummer on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show for six years.

Dave Stryker Bio
Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, Dave Stryker moved to New York City in 1980. After establishing himself in the city, he joined organist Jack McDuff's group from 1984-85. From 1986-1995, Mr. Stryker played with tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, performing at all the major festivals, concert halls, and clubs throughout the world, as well as recording on two of Mr. Turrentine's CDs. Mr. Stryker has released 15 CDs on the SteepleChase label and his most recent CD, Big City, on Mel Bay Records, received 4 Stars and was voted one of the Best CDs of 2005 in Downbeat magazine. Mr. Stryker continues to work with saxophonist Steve Slagle in The Stryker/Slagle Band, and as a featured artist throughout the world. He has appeared on more than 40 CDs as a sideman.

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Stanley Turrentine Bio
Stanley William Turrentine was one of the most distinctive tenor saxophonists in jazz. Known for his big, warm sound, “The Sugar Man" or the original “Mr. T" found inspiration in the blues and turned it into a hugely successful career with a #1 hit and four Grammy nominations, first in R&B and then in jazz.

Born on April 5, 1934 in Pittsburgh, a city that has produced more than its share of jazz masters, Mr. Turrentine hailed from a musical family. His saxophone-playing father was a big influence, as was his stride piano-playing mother and older brother, the late trumpeter Tommy Turrentine. One of Mr. Turrentine's earliest influences on sax was tenor great Illinois Jacquet. Mr. Jacquet once encouraged a 12-year-old Stanley to sit in with him. At 17, Mr. Turrentine went on the road with bluesman Lowell Fulson. In 1953, he was hired by R&B saxman and bandleader Earl Bostic to replace John Coltrane. A consummate musician who learned his craft through disparate experiences and influences, Mr. Turrentine received his only formal musical training during his military stint in the mid-50s. In 1959, he jumped from the frying pan into the fire when he left the military and went straight into the band of the great drummer Max Roach.

Mr. Turrentine married organist Shirley Scott in 1960. When they moved to Philadelphia, they befriended Hammond B-3 organ legend Jimmy Smith and Mr. Turrentine quickly immersed himself in Mr. Smith's souful jazz organ sound. He even recorded on Mr. Smith's epochal Blue Note album Midnight Special. The organ-centered soul-jazz that Jimmy Smith and Shirley Scott concocted provided Mr. Turrentine the perfect gateway to cross over into pop territory. His first foray in this new, more radio-friendly music began in 1969 when he signed with Creed Taylor's slick and successful CTI label. Mr. Turrentine's first album for CTI, Sugar, was released in 1970 and yielded the classic tune of the same name.

He continued with a string of pop-laced crossover albums for CTI including the 1971 hit Don't Mess With Mr. T. Mr. Turrentine persevered on the ever-changing landscape of jazz, by tapping into his enduring, soulful sound and bluesy approach. He remained a perennial favorite among jazz fans up to his untimely death on September 12, 2000.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, a jazz appreciation curriculum for children, advanced training through the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, music publishing, children's concerts, lectures, adult education courses and student and educator workshops. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman of the Board Lisa Schiff, President & CEO Derek E. Gordon, Executive Director Katherine E. Brown and Jazz at Lincoln Center board and staff, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce hundreds of events during its 2005-06 season. In October 2004, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened Frederick P. Rose Hall--the first-ever performance, education and broadcast facility devoted to jazz. For more information, visit www.jalc.org.

Cadillac is the Lead New York Sponsor of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly acknowledges its 2005-2006 partners: Altria Group, Bank of America, Bloomberg, The Coca-Cola Company, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Time Warner Inc., XM Satellite Radio.

BET Jazz is proud to partner with Jazz at Lincoln Center to present the television series Journey with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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For Immediate Release: January 6, 2006 For More Information, Contact: Scott H. Thompson, Assistant Director, Public Relations (212) 258-9807 or via email Sthompson@jalc.org.

Listings Information:
Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Event: The Music of Stanley Turrentine - Celebrating Pittsburgh
Dates/Times: Thursday-Saturday, February 16, 17, 18, 2006 at 7:30pm
Location: The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall on Broadway at 60th Street.
Tickets: $40, $75, $130
Available at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall box office on Broadway at 60th Street / open Monday - Saturday, 10am-8:30pm and Sunday 11am-8:30pm
CenterCharge at 212-721.6500 or via www.jalc.org

High resolution, downloadable photos available here.

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