Steve Turre and a heavy collection of friends come through with a highly enjoyable and diverse collection on TNT
. Turre, the veteran trombonist, hooks up with three great tenormen--the venerable Dewey Redman and two of the great young stars of jazz, David Sanchez and James Carter--to deliver on the titular promise (perhaps a bit ironic, given the current situation) of musical fireworks. The rhythm sections (each saxophonist is featured with Turre alongside a different group) are all-star teams as well, including such players as drummer Lewis Nash, pianist Mulgrew Miller and bassist Buster Williams.
Already brushing with several greats, Turre ups the ante by recording an ingenious selection of standards and originals that draw from and build upon the legacies of several giants, including the recently fallen Stanley Turrentine, Tito Puente and Al Grey. Carter is featured on four tracks, including Turrentine's "Back in the Day," Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So," and Turre's tribute to Eric Dolphy, "Eric the Great." Sanchez and percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo are brought in for "Puente of Soul" and "E.J," Turre's tributes to percussion masters Puente and Elvin Jones. Dewey Redman, whose name is almost synonymous with the avant-garde, first shows the depths of his jazz roots by combining with Turre and crew to evoke the memories of Lester Young, Al Grey and Count Basie on "Stompin' at the Savoy," then comes back firing on "Dewey's Dance," a modal exploration written with plenty of open spaces by Turre for the occasion.
Everything about this set is quality. The recording is impeccable, as one would expect from Telarc. The musicianship is consistently brilliant, amplified by a program of tunes tailored to play to the strengths of the musicians involved. The album proves as diverse as jazz itself, encompassing the blues, latin jazz, the avant-garde and so much more. The greatest musical TNT since the rock band AC/DC's memorable debut a quarter century ago.