Blue Hour has such a logical match up that it is very surprising that it did not happen again. Stanley Turrentine, the most soulful of all tenor-saxophonists, teams up with Gene Harris and the Three Sounds, one of the most swinging soul jazz trios, a group that was at the height of its popularity. The results are magical and timeless. At the time of this Dec. 16, 1960 recording, Stanley Turrentine was 26 and on the verge of stardom in the jazz world and beyond.
In the 1950s he had worked with Lowell Fulson, Earl Bostic and other r&b bands. Most significant were his 1959-60 stint with Max Roach and his recordings with Jimmy Smith which helped lead to his signing with Blue Note. From the start, Turrentine's fat tone, soulful style and ability to put a maximum amount of emotion into every single note made him instantly recognizable. Gene Harris was Turrentine's equivalent on piano. His gutsy and bluesy style mixed together Oscar Peterson with Junior Mance. He formed the Three Sounds with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy in 1956 and the group was such a hit that they recorded 12 albums for Blue Note during 1958-62 including four in 1960 alone.
Blue Hour features the original "Blue Riff" plus four of the most beloved songs in blues and jazz history. No matter how many times one has heard such songs as "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You," "Willow Weep For Me" and "Since I Fell For You," these versions are still very special.
Turrentine and Harris have similar approaches, being jazz masters who loved to play the blues. They constantly echo each other's ideas and put such feeling into these vintage songs that they make every moment count. Stanley Turrentine and Gene Harris may have only teamed up this one time but Blue Hour is a classic that will be loved by anyone who is lucky enough to hear it.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside. See more Stanley Turrentine records here