Steve Turre // Spiritman
Famed trombonist Steve Turre lives up to his reputation with this funky release.
Trombonist Turre, voted No. 1 on his horn recently by the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA), fully justifies the award on his new recording. Turre has mastered what some find to be an unwieldy, sonically unattractive instrument. Turre leads a quintet here through 10 tunes — three of his own, a few standards, and two jazz pieces. The jazz numbers steal the show with an appropriately gentle reading of Horace Silver's "Peace," and the spiritual-feeling title tune. Turre introduces to Miles Davis's "All Blues," played more forcefully than the original and featuring an impressive, conch shell Turre cadenza. Except for one faux pas, a swinging version of "Lover Man," everything else is pretty terrific. You gotta love the funky stuff ("Bu," for drummer Art Blakey); the bluesy, Latin-ish Turre tune "Nangadef;" the incredible muted slide work on Rodgers and Hart's "With a Song in My Heart and Gershwin's "S'Wonderful," and all the rest.