WCSU

Artist Profiles - Saxophonist Stanley Turrentine

Stanley William Turrentine, also known as "Mr. T" or "The Sugar Man", was anĀ  jazz tenor saxophonist.

Turrentine was born in Pittsburgh's Hill District in April 5, 1934 to a musical family. 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, Earl Bostic, and at the turn of the decade, Max Roach.

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

In the 1970s, Turrentine turned to jazz fusion and signed for Creed Taylor's CTI label. His first album for CTI, "Sugar" proved one of his biggest successes and a seminal recording for the label. He continued with a string a pop-laced crossover albums for CTI including the 1971 hit "Don't Mess with Mr. T." He worked with Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Bob James, Richard Tee, Idris Muhammad, Ron Carter, and Eric Gale, to name a few. He returned to soul jazz in the 1980s and into the 1990s.

Turrentine lived in Ft. Washington, Maryland from the early 90s until his death. He died of a stroke in New York City on September 12, 2000.