Sunday, June 14, 2015

USA: Steve Turre — Spiritman (Smoke Sessions 2015)

Steve Turre: trombone & sea shells
Bruce Williams: alto & soprano saxophones
Xavier Davis: piano
Gerald Cannon: bass
Willie Jones III: drums
Chembo Corniel: congas ('Nangadef' only)

'The first record in at least 10 years that puts the focus squarely back on my trombone playing.' - Steve Turre

One of the world's preeminent jazz innovators, Steve Turre makes a powerful statement for the healing powers of music. Spiritman reflects his belief that 'without spirit, music is just notes.'

The first recording--after many years of development by Turre--of sea shells played into the piano's open strings creating an ethereal, mystical, acoustic sound.

His superbly swinging quintet performs new Turre compositions 'Trayvon's Blues' an emotional centerpiece of recent Turre performances; 'Bu' the rousing opener dedicated to his mentor Art Blakey; 'Funky Thing' written very recently for the Saturday Night Live Band; 'Nangadef' written for Senegalese percussionist Abdou Mboup, and 'Spiritman' with which Turre opened the UN's International Jazz Day concert in Tokyo in 2014.

8-panel deluxe gatefold digipak features color photography by Jimmy Katz and an original 2000-word interview with Steve Turre including background and anecdotes about the record, as well as his philosophy of music making and it's healing role for the world.

Turre's debut on Smoke Sessions was tracked live on a Neve 8038 Custom Console at NYC's famed analog studio Sear Sound.


The jazz world needs more Steve Turres. A powerful technician with a soulful tone and quick wit, Turre is perhaps the leading trombonist of this generation. Turre also wails on his self-designed conch shells, making robust sound that can be both eerie and serene. --Rolling Stone

He has a warm, controlled sound and articulates notes without much hard-consonant attack: his foggy ease can almost mask the extreme rigor behind his playing. It can also grant him the expressive resources of a singer. --New York Times

Turre taps into the continuum of the jazz tradition to keep it moving forward. --New York Daily News