Stanley Turrentine Dies at 66


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NEW YORK (AP) - Stanley Turrentine, a jazz saxophonist whose hit “Sugar" established him in the popular mainstream and influenced musicians in many other genres, died Tuesday. He was 66.

Turrentine died at a New York hospital two days after suffering a stroke, said his agent, Robin Burgess. He lived in Fort Washington, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

Turrentine, who played tenor saxophone, mixed jazz with blues, rock, rhythm and blues and pop.

“His impact on jazz was just astonishing," Burgess said. “He had a large impact on fusion, electric jazz and organ trio music."

Turrentine started his career playing with Ray Charles and Max Roach. He scored his biggest hit in 1970 with “Sugar," which became something of a jazz standard, frequently performed and re-recorded by admirers.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, surrounded by music. The piano player Ahmad Jamal lived nearby, and often visited to practice on the Turrentines' upright piano. Stanley's mother played piano, his father played tenor sax and his brother Tommy played trumpet. The brothers played at the Perry Bar in Pittsburgh, their first professional gig, while they were still in high school, and often performed together as adults.

Turrentine began traveling with a band when he was 16, and later joined one of Charles' early rhythm and blues groups. He played in a jazz band headed by Roach and replaced the departing John Coltrane in Earl Bostic's band.

Turrentine went solo in the 1960s. His blues-influenced riffs brought him commercial success with albums such as “Stan 'The Man' Turrentine," “Up at Minton's," and “Never Let Me Go." When “Sugar" brought him fame outside the jazz world, some fellow musicians accused him of abandoning artistry to pander to popular taste.

He said he preferred mixing genres to being boxed in.

“One day, my stepson and I were alphabetizing my albums over the years, and I noticed that they categorized me as a rock and roll player on certain albums, a bee-bop player on other albums, a pop player, a fusion player," he once said. “And I'm just saying ... 'Gee, I'm just playing with different settings, but I'm still playing the same way."'

By BETH GARDINER, Associated Press Writer

Washington Post Article: Jazzman Stanley Turrentine Dies at 66

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