Stanley Turrentine

Stanley William Turrentine (April 5, 1934 September 12, 2000) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He began his career playing R&B for Earl Bostic and later soul jazz recording for the Blue Note label from 1960, touched on jazz fusion during a stint on CTI in the 1970s.[1] He was described by critic Steve Huey as "renowned for his distinctively thick, rippling tone [and] earthy grounding in the blues."[2] Turrentine was married to organist Shirley Scott in the 1960s, with whom he frequently recorded, and was the younger brother of trumpeter Tommy Turrentine.

Stanley Turrentine
Turrentine in 1976
Background information
Born(1934-04-05)April 5, 1934
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 12, 2000(2000-09-12) (aged 66)
New York City
GenresJazz, soul jazz
InstrumentsTenor saxophone
Years active1959–2000
LabelsBlue Note, Fantasy, CTI, Prestige, Impulse!, MusicMasters
Associated actsShirley Scott, Tommy Turrentine, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Kei Akagi


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,[3] his mother played stride piano, and his older brother Tommy Turrentine became a professional trumpet player.[4]

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 and Earl Bostic.[3] In Bostic's group, he replaced John Coltrane in 1953 and also played in groups led by the pianist and composer Tadd Dameron.[1]

Turrentine received his only formal musical training during his military stint in the mid-1950s. In 1959, he left the military and went straight into the band of the drummer Max Roach.[3]

He married the organist Shirley Scott in 1960 and the two frequently played and recorded together.[3] In the 1960s, he started working with organist Jimmy Smith, and made many soul jazz recordings both with Smith and as a leader.[3]

Scott and Turrentine divorced in 1971. Turrentine turned to jazz fusion and signed for Creed Taylor's CTI label.[1] His first album for CTI, Sugar, recorded in 1970, proved one of his biggest successes and a seminal recording for the label.[3] 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. He returned to soul jazz in the 1980s and into the 1990s.

Turrentine lived in Fort Washington, Maryland, from the early 1990s until his death.

He died of a stroke in New York City on September 12, 2000, and was buried in Pittsburgh's Allegheny Cemetery.[5]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Stanley Turrentine among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[6]


As leader

Blue Note Records
CTI Records
Fantasy Records
Elektra Records
Other labels

As sideman

With Shirley Scott

With Kenny Burrell

With Donald Byrd

With Georgie Fame

  • 1996: The Blues and Me (Go Jazz)

With Roy Hargrove

With Gene Harris

  • 1985: Gene Harris Trio Plus One (Concord)
  • 1995: Gene Harris & the Philip Morris All-Stars: Live (Concord) released 1998

With Freddie Hubbard

With Duke Jordan

With Diana Krall

With Abbey Lincoln

With Les McCann

With Jimmy McGriff

With David "Fathead" Newman

With Horace Parlan

With Duke Pearson

With Ike Quebec

  • 1962: Easy Living (Blue Note) some material previously released as Congo Lament

With Dizzy Reece

With Max Roach

With Mongo Santamaria

  • 1970: Mongo's Way (Atlantic)

With Marlena Shaw

  • 1997: Elemental Soul (Concord)

With Horace Silver

With Jimmy Smith

With Art Taylor

With Tommy Turrentine

  • 1960: Tommy Turrentine (Time Records)


  1. "Stanley Turrentine". The Daily Telegraph. September 25, 2000. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  2. Huey, Steve. "Stanley Turrentine | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  3. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1196. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  4. "NPR's Jazz Profiles: Stanley Turrentine". Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  5. Nowlin, Rick (2000-09-13). "Obituary: Hill District-born jazz great Turrentine dies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  6. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
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