Up at Minton’s

Up At Minton's!

Stanley Turrentine, Up At Minton’s

Unlike most famous/classic/real tenor sax players, I have over a dozen “setups,” or mouthpiece and reed combinations; my mood changes so much, and so often (family history of mood disorders, you see) that I have a ton of different sounds I want to emulate at any given time; no one sound, is enough in and of itself.

I play tenor sax the most often (of the saxes, I mean) because to me it’s the most expressive of the woodwinds; you can sound like an alto, a bari, or even a soprano if the mood strikes you; I would argue that this is not true with any of the other “primary” saxes.

Stanley Turrentine used a metal Otto Link mouthpiece (you can see one in the above album cover), with a close facing and a relatively-flexible reed; when I put a Rico 3 (soft), (or a D.C. Alexander Superial 3) on a New York Otto Link 5 (a facing  considered so narrow nowadays that I had to request it from a guy –arguably a “weirdo”– in Texas), if I really wanna, I can sound something like an imitation of Mr. Turrentine– who was not the most original of players, but I would say, one of the most placid and congenial: he knew what he wanted to play, and he did: easily, without any overt attempt to change the jazz world– he was just playin,’ baby.

Up at “Minton’s” (1961) is Turrentine playing as a pretty young man (compared to, say, Turrentine favorites like Prayer Meetin’ or Let It Go*).

It’s a rough recording: table chatter, background noise, etc.– i.e., it’s great, daddy-O: just what they played… just how they played it….

“Later at Minton’s” is the one of the most played songs on my iTunes (because it’s in tenor F and is a long, great, easy, greasy blues), but still….

Opener “Broadway” bops along, as does “But Not For Me,” “Stanley’s Time” is a classic, as is “Yesterdays,” or “Come Rain or Come Shine.”

Just enjoy baby… this late- late- LATE- night live record.

amazon.com link

*Which BTW has a great album cover. I actually did publicity stills for a jazz album a few years ago, and gave the photographer this cover as a ideal visual template.