With all this inclement weather coming my way this week, I thought I’d put some music out there that reminded me of a sunny Spring day. It’s music like this, that I can listen to anytime, but what really makes me feel like I’m hanging out on a day with no rain. I’ve been buying up everything I can find out in the field from this woman. It’s this kind of Jazz that I featured on The Real Roast Mix previously. So, no matter where you are, let Shirley Scott give you a bit of “Soul Shoutin’ ” with Stanley Turrentine on Prestige Records.
Born in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, PA in 1934, Shirley Scott would start out her musical career by playing the piano and trumpet. However, she’d make that progression to the B-3 Hammond, in the vein of maestro Jimmy Smith, and turn be one of the most notable female Jazz organists around. A Philadelphia Jazz scene veteran, Scott would often play with a younger John Coltrane. She caught the eye of Basie alum Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and her recording career began. Scott and Davis would record many a record, most recognized for their 1958 hit “In the Kitchen”. Her career was long and she recorded for all the big labels: Prestige, Impulse, Cadet, Atlantic, Strata East, and much later in her career, Muse and Candid. She would marry saxophone great Stanley Turrentine, where she would make most of her greatest music with. Scott stood out, not only because she was female, but because her mastery of of the organ and versatile playing of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, and eventually a newer genre called Soul Jazz. The organ’s popularity would soon fade out, but regain it’s popularity in the early 80’s. Masters like Groove Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith (who Scott was a great admirer of) would be back on the scene respectively, still tearing it up throughout the country. Despite their age, Soul Jazz had made a bit of resurgence, and these players were exposed to a whole new appreciative audience. Shirley Scott’s health would fail, as she would be involved with the drug fen-phen, eventually winning an $8 million lawsuit from the manufacturer before she succumbed to heart failure in 2002.
“Soul Shoutin’ ” is a brilliant piece of Soul Jazz for sure. Scott and Turrentine are both playing like they hadn’t a care in the world, almost if they were just happy playing as husband and wife. Drummer Grasella Oliphant (Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson) keeps the time on the drums, while Earl May (Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Billy Taylor Trio) lends his massive bass skills to the quartet. It’s this organ sound, that really grabs me every time. The fact that it was recorded in Bergenfield, NJ, is also near and dear to me. I am proud to be from the Garden State, who has turned out some pretty damn good Funk, Soul, and Jazz musicians. The fact that Rudy Van Gelder recorded this thing doesn’t hurt either. I’d love to ask him about this session, but getting him to talk is like winning the lottery. I hope you enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Turrentine doing their thing on this record. I’ll be back Friday with some more of the good stuff. Keep Diggin’!
**PS: Hopefully within the next week or too I’ll have some Flea Market Funk vinyl stickers. I will keep you posted. Put one on your portable turntable.