Personnel includes: Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Hubert Laws (flute); Johnny Hammond (electric piano, organ); Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (electric piano); Butch Cornell (organ); George Benson (guitar); Ron Carter (bass); Billy Cobham, Billy Kaye (drums); Richard "Pablo" Landrum (conga); Airto Moreira (percussion).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Didier C. Deutsch.
Recorded between November 1970 and July 1971. Originally released on CTI Records. Includes liner notes by James Isaacs.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
One of the main weapons in sax legend Stanley Turrentine's arsenal was the knowledge that a real groove requires just the right amount of energy without hitting the listener over the head. That knowledge is put to practical use throughout Turrentine's first recording for CTI, SUGAR. Aided by the subtly soulful organ of Butch Cornell and the smoldering sensuality of George Benson's guitar, Turrentine churned out solidly grooving (though not literally "funk") tunes that employ blues-based economy and bob-schooled chops in equal measure. The fiery trumpet interjections of Freddie Hubbard keep things moving, but Turrentine's mastery of the mid-tempo groove is exemplified throughout, whether on the down-and-dirty jam "Sunshine Alley" or a soulful take on John Coltrane's "Impressions." And don't worry, the music is leagues more tasteful than the questionably raunchy cover art.
Down Beat (p.64) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Turrentine's honky-tonk tone and razor-sharp phrasing refuse to fade into the background..."
Down Beat - Recommended
Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.125) - "...A groovy album purveying muscular 2-chord, hard-bop-to-light-fusion improvisations over frantic boogaloo beats..."