One of the best tenor saxophone players to ever play that instrument was the late Stanley Turrentine. Guitarist Dave Stryker can attest to that because he worked with Turrentine for over 10 years. He was a mentor to Dave Stryker and he pays tribute to Stanley Turrentine with his latest album titled Messin’ with Mister T. This is an album that Stryker has wanted to do for some time and he came up with a gem. Stryker enlisted 10 of the world’s best tenor saxophone players to play on this album.
The ten saxophone players are: legendary Houston Person, Mike Lee, Don Braden, Jimmy Heath, Chris Potter, Bob Mintzer, Eric Alexander, Javon Jackson, Steve Slagle and Tivon Pennicott. They are simply marvelous on this project. We can’t forget Stryker’s organ trio which includes: Jared Gold on the Hammond B3 organ, McClenty Hunter on drums and Mayra Casales on percussion. Stanley Turrentine’s sax playing has been described as melodic, swinging and soulful. This album indeed sounds soulful, melodic and swinging. I think Mister T as Turrentine was called, would be proud.
The opening tune titled La Place Street features Houston Person on tenor sax. Person is 80 years old and still swings. It has that throw back feel to it. The song title is referenced to the block where Turrentine was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of Turrentine’s classic recordings is Sugar. It features young Javon Jackson on tenor sax. Another legendary sax man is Jimmy Heath. Mr. Heath is 88 years old and he is featured on the Duke Ellington tune In A Sentimental Mood. If you remember the movie Trouble Man from the 70’s, it featured Stanley Turrentine playing on the song Don’t Mess With Mister T. Don Braden is the featured sax player for that song on this project.
Dave Stryker and his fellow musicians have done an amazing job in celebrating the music of Stanley Turrentine. Mr. Stryker continues to deliver top notch recordings. He was definitely influenced by Stanley Turrentine and this album clearly is one of his best. It was certainly worth the wait. This album is scheduled for release on April 7, 2015. It is one that you will want to have in your collection. You can follow Dave Stryker by checking out his website: www.davestryker.com.