Dave Stryker’s Messin’ With Mister T

Marvelous guitarist Dave Stryker pays tribute to Stanley Turrentine, the late great tenor saxophonist who served up jazz with heaps of blues ’n’ soul. As a former decade-long “Mister T” sideman, Stryker’s an authority. Each of the ten tracks features a stellar tenor guest, including Houston Person, Bob Mintzer, and Jimmy Heath. Driving the soloists is Stryker’s hard-swinging trio featuring organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter (assisted on six cuts by percussionist Mayra Casales). From the first bar of the deep-shuffle opener, “La Place Street,” Hunter hits the grooving sweet spot and never flags throughout the joyous disc. Sprung from church roots, Hunter’s accompanied gospel notables as well as top jazz artists (currently with Kenny Garrett). Here he intersects those worlds via his swinging pocket, delivering hard backbeats (“Don’t Mess With Mister T”), cracking funk (“Gibraltar), and breakneck straight-ahead topped by a scorching solo (“Impressions”). No “messin’” with Mister T here; just lovin’ him. (Strikezone)

Jeff Potter