Stanley William Turrentine (April 5, 1934 – September 12, 2000) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He began his career playing R&B for Earl Bostic and later soul jazz recording for the Blue Note label from 1960, touched on jazz fusion during a stint on CTI in the 1970s. He was described by critic Steve Huey as “renowned for his distinctively thick, rippling tone [and] earthy grounding in the blues.” In the 1960s Turrentine was married to organist Shirley Scott, with whom he frequently recorded, and he was the younger brother of trumpeter Tommy Turrentine.
Turrentine was born in Pittsburgh‘s Hill District into a musical family. His father, Thomas Turrentine, Sr., was a saxophonist with Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans, his mother played stride piano, and his older brother Tommy Turrentine became a professional trumpet player.
He began his prolific career with blues and rhythm and blues bands, and was at first greatly influenced by Illinois Jacquet. In the 1950s, he went on to play with the groups of Lowell Fulson and Earl Bostic. In Bostic’s group, he replaced John Coltrane in 1953 and also played in groups led by the pianist and composer Tadd Dameron.
Turrentine received his only formal musical training during his military stint in the mid-1950s. In 1959, he left the military and went straight into the band of the drummer Max Roach.
He married the organist Shirley Scott in 1960 and the two frequently played and recorded together. In the 1960s, he started working with organist Jimmy Smith, and made many soul jazz recordings both with Smith and as a leader.