22 April 1928
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
15 May 1997 (aged 69)
Thomas Walter Turrentine, Jr. (April 22, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – May 15, 1997) was a swing and hard bop trumpeter of the 1940s to 1960s, the older brother of saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.
He played in the bands of Benny Carter, Earl Bostic, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. He later recorded with Sonny Clark, Lou Donaldson, and his brother's bands. His working relationship with Max Roach was spawned in part when he joined the Max Roach Quintet in the late 1950s following the death of Clifford Brown.
While his brother had a successful career and recorded a number of albums over his lifetime, Tommy only recorded one album under his name before retiring in the 1960s. In the 1970s he lived on the ground floor of a brownstone with his wife Jane on West 82nd Street in New York City, a street which during that period had a number of jazz luminaries living along its blocks between Broadway and Central Park, including Tommy Flanagan and Pharoah Sanders. In the summer of 1979 Turrentine was one of several star trumpeters (including John Faddis and others) who appeared at the Village Gate for an all-star tribute to Blue Mitchell. Turrentine was also adept on the piano at chord blockings and was a compositional exponent of Thelonious Monk's earlier chordal voicings. His bebop compositions combined a sophisticated and emotional fusion and poignant lyricism reminiscent of Benny Golson and with the passionate, spirited influence of the Brown/Roach Quintet.
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