The proof, as they say, is in the pudding; and trombonist Steve Turre's new release “Woody's Delight” is a rich and highly palatable blend of straight ahead, relaxed and Latin sounds enhanced by an array of talented musicians augmenting the leader's consistently engaging compositional skills and playing. It's a marvelously diverse session and our CD of the month.
“Woody's Delight” is a reference to one of Turre's influences – the late trumpeter Woody Shaw who was a musician deserving of greater recognition during his lifetime for his concise, fiery sound, his lyrical side and consistent mainstream artistry. Turre participated upon some fourteen of Shaw's albums. Yet only three tracks on “Woody's Delight” are references to Shaw as the album embraces a larger sentiment of recognizing a number of other inspiring musicians.
No less than five trumpet players are featured on this session, with Jon Faddis wailing on the title track and in a muted mode on “Something For Sweets”, recalling Harry “Sweets” Edison. Wallace Roney gets in the act for “In Retrospect” with a muted Miles Davis sound and upon “Luna”, the second Turre composition recalling Woody Shaw. Turre's conch shells and Duduka DaFonseca's berimbau begin Claudio Roditi's breezy samba “Annette's For Sure”. Roditi is also featured on “Adios Mi Amigo”, a sensitive ballad in remembrance of pianist Hilton Ruiz. The percolating “Manny's Mambo” is a dedication to percussionist Manny Oquendo with Chocolate Armenteros playing trumpet and Turre heard upon both trombone and shells. “3 For Woody” is modal with Freddie Hendrix playing trumpet and evoking Woody Shaw's style in his solo. Hendrix is again featured on the closing track, the relaxed blues “Brother Bob”.
Pianists Xavier Davis or Luis Perdomo and several bassists and percussionists keep the rhythmic groove in capable hands throughout these numbers. As usual, Turre plays both trombone and conch shells – the latter producing an at times haunting or idyllic effect that blends well with the prevailing Latin tinge to much of his music. “Woody's Delight” welcomes the listener with attractively conceived and executed sounds that are at once easy to enjoy and artistically rewarding.