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Stanley Turrentine

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Stanley William Turrentine, also known as “Mr. T” or “The Sugar Man”, (April 5, 1934 – September 12, 2000) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Turrentine was born in Pittsburgh’s Hill District into a musical family. His father, Thomas Turrentine, Sr., was a saxophonist with Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans, his mother played stride piano, and his older brother Tommy Turrentine became a professional trumpet player.

He began his prolific career with blues and rhythm and blues bands, and was at first greatly influenced by Illinois Jacquet. In the 1950s, he went on to play with the groups of Lowell Fulson, Earl Bostic, and at the turn of the decade, Max Roach.
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.
He married the organist Shirley Scott in 1960 and the two frequently played and recorded together. In the 1960s, he started working with organist Jimmy Smith, and made many soul jazz recordings both with Smith and as a leader.
In the 1970s, after his professional split and divorce from Scott, Turrentine turned to jazz fusion and signed for Creed Taylor’s CTI label. His first album for CTI, Sugar proved one of his biggest successes and a seminal recording for the label. He worked with Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, George Benson, Bob James, Richard Tee, Idris Muhammad, Ron Carter, Grant Green and Eric Gale, to name a few.

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