Big Sweet n' Blue
Norris Turney, Larry Willis, Walter Booker & Jimmy Cobb
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Since there are not that many alumni of Duke Ellington's orchestra active, it is surprising that altoist Norris Turney (who was with Ellington from 1969-1973 and eventually replaced the unreplaceable Johnny Hodges) has not been recorded all that extensively during the 20 years since. In fact, his Mapleshade debut is the 72-year-old's first session at the head of a quartet and the music's obvious success is even more impressive when one realizes that Turney had never played with the other musicians (pianist Larry Willis, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Jimmy Cobb) before. Norris Turney is a melodic swing player with a large tone and, since the rhythm section is quite supportive and sympathetic, these renditions of blues, ballads, and standards (including his own "Checkered Hat" and three Ellington/Strayhorn pieces) came together rather quickly. Highlights include the lengthy "Blues for Edward," "Blood Count," and "Come Sunday."
Born: September 08, 1921 in Wilmington, OH
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s