With TNT, trombonist/shell player Steve Turre works a guest tenorman theme. Turre assembled three different bands around three different tenor players: James Carter, Dewey Redman and David Sanchez. The band featuring James Carter accounts for half of the tunes on TNT, though Redman and Sanchez also drop in for significant microphone time. With this one, Turre leaves all of his conch shells behind and focuses entirely on the trombone.
Turre covers a lot of musical ground on TNT: Latin vamps, gospel, R&B, modal tunes and a rearrangement of "Stomping at the Savoy." He even includes a freeish piece, the Eric Dolphy tribute "Eric the Great," which finds pianist Mulgrew Miller doing his best Bobby Hutcherson, dropping open-ended chords like splattered paint. But even on this tune, the most adventurous on the recording, Turre's bands cultivate an amiable swing and a collegial vibe.
Turre hardly allows an undedicated bar of music here, as he turns out tributes to Tito Puente ("Puente of Soul"), Elvin Jones ("E.J.") and Ray Charles ("Hallelujah, I Love Her So"), among others. That may be the culprit: the album comes across as a little too overly reverent and somewhat lacking in sweat. Carter and Redman generate some excitement (Sanchez, in comparison, comes off as rather anonymous), but true to Turre's design, they keep things relatively restrained.
In the end, a dignified album if not particularly ear-catching.