Sunny Days is the second and latest release from bassist Al Turner, whom Smoothviews featured in our On the Side article in May 2010. Throughout his career, Al has worked with many, talented musicians, some of which have joined him to play on this release.
Most of these songs have elements of funk, like the first two tracks, “Zo,” and “Funk For U,” but that should not surprise too much; after all, this is a bass player’s release. While the saxophone is the lead on “Zo,” (featuring Dave McMurray on sax,) the bass is front and center on “Funk For U,” and the title track, “Sunny Days.” Turner does not let his instrument overpower the songs. Smooth jazz is a hybrid of funk, R&B, pop instrumental, and other elements, all of which are on display here on Turners’ release, and can be heard in “Traveling Back Home,” and “On the Go,” “Al-T-Tude,” and “Let’s Take It Back.”
Although the bass is almost synonymous with funk, Turner shows us the softer side of that instrument in the tunes “Overseas,” and “Great Day,” which also features Nelson Rangell on flute.
“Still Movin’” is a danceable tune featuring the great Bob James. James’ keys and Turner’s bass complement each other rather nicely on this one. “Right Where” is a vocal tune featuring Herschel Boone singing.
There’s a lot of good music on this CD. Lovers of smooth jazz bass music would do well to get their hands on this release. The music is good and varied and it covers a range of tempos and moods. We know Al Turner mostly from his work as a supporting musician, but it’s nice when musicians like Turner can step out front and tell their own stories. We know that musically, they have a lot to say.