Picks and Pans Review: Wonderland

updated 06/08/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/08/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Stanley Turrentine

There's nothing wrong with this record that four or five sequels couldn't cure. That way Turrentine, the veteran 53-year-old jazz saxophonist, would have a chance to play some of the Stevie Wonder songs he and producer Ronnie Foster left off this album—Superstition, say, or My Cherie Amour. What is here can hardly be argued with. Turrentine plays with small groups, from just keyboardist Eddie del Barrio on You and Ho a sextet on Bird of Beauty and a septet on Boogie on Reggae Woman (the latter with Wonder sitting in on harmonica, to the great advantage of all concerned). The meeting of Turrentine, one of the most mellifluous of horn men, and Wonder, whose songs are as melodically rich as songs get, is mutually productive. It brings out the sensuality of Turrentine on, say, Living for the City, while demonstrating Wonder's jazzier side on such tunes as Sir Duke. Drummer Harvey Mason and pianists Foster and Don Grusin seem to enjoy themselves too, and why not? They were helping exactly the right man perform exactly the right music. (Blue Note)

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