Jazz Lead Sheets

Joao - Tommy Turrentine

 
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Song:
Joao
Composer:
Tommy Turrentine
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Concert key: C
Style: Medium slow samba

Recording Information: Recorded in June or July, 1977, and first released on "Nightwings" / Stanley Turrentine (Fantasy F-9534).

  • Tenor Sax - Stanley Turrentine
  • Keyboards - Paul Griffin
  • Guitars - Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree
  • Electric Bass - Gary King
  • Drums - Charles Collins
  • Percussion - Crusher Bennett
  • plus horns and strings
  • Arranger - Claus Ogerman

Description: Trumpeter/composer Tommy Turrentine heard and wrote this composition as a 24-measure ABA format, but Stanley (his younger brother, who played tenor sax) recorded it in a more conventional AABA format on his "Nightwings" album. To introduce this song in a way closer to Tommy's intention, our audio excerpt starts on Stanley's second A section so you hear the A section going right into B, the same way our ABA lead sheet is written. Tommy also heard specific shifts in the melodic rhythm, especially in the B section, but Stanley made all the bridge rhythms the same on his recording. We've notated Tommy's rhythms in our lead sheet. It's common for performing artists to reconstruct a song to their liking. Now you can hear how Tommy's younger brother interprets his older brother's melody, and you can also see the way Tommy wrote it out.

Historical Notes: Tommy Turrentine, at 18, was already playing with Benny Carter in California (1946). Tommy started recording in 1949 in the George Hudson band. After the army, Tommy returned to his home town of Pittsburgh and led a rehearsal band with his brother Stanley (1953-1954). The brothers started recording together in the Earl Bostic band in 1953. In 1959 they started recording together as part of Max Roach's three-front line quintet, alongside trombonist Julian Priester, as well as with the Abbey Lincoln sextet. In 1960 Tommy used the same three-front line on his own album simply called Tommy Turrentine (on Time Records). This recording also introduced the instrumental version of a Tommy Turrentine/Julian Priester composition that later, with added lyrics by Oscar Brown, Jr., became a classic, recorded many times: see "Long As You're Living" in Sing JAZZ!. Stanley is the much more widely-known brother, with many, many recordings as a leader. However, I heard from Stanley's own lips that he felt Tommy was the strongest musical talent in the family. Tommy was a great trumpet player and very gifted composer. Check out Gone But Not Forgotten and Big Brown Eyes. More will be coming soon.