Jazz Monthly: And they recognize that and I totally recognize it because it’s like I said at the beginning of this conversation, if you don’t know who Al Turner is, you really need to ask somebody because, man, you have really done some fantastic and amazing things over the years, contributing to projects and your own. I mean, it’s a wonderful thing that should be recognized throughout the music community.
AT: Yeah, well, thank you, man, and I appreciate you’re helping to make that happen.
Jazz Monthly: Yes indeed. And speaking of getting out front, you’re Movin’ out front…
AT: Yeah, yeah.
Jazz Monthly: With this…
AT: New record, yeah.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, man, and this is some kickin’ stuff. And I know why they call you “The Burner.”
AT: Oh, thank you, thank you. (Both laugh.) I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the music.
Jazz Monthly: Oh, man, I’m enjoying the music and you have a great selection of musicians to support you with this record. My boy Ron Otis…
Jazz Monthly: Who I totally admire, I can remember years ago when I first saw him. I think he was with Bob James in Dallas one weekend.
Jazz Monthly: It was a few years ago and I was just blown away. It’s like, man, who is this…?
AT: Yeah, yeah, he’s like my right arm.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, man.
AT: Never leave home without him.
Jazz Monthly: That’s right. And here again, another cat that has no drama.
Jazz Monthly: In fact, if you notice, he’s always smiling when he’s playing the drums.
AT: Yeah, yeah, Ron’s like a little brother to me. I can remember the very first time we played together was actually at a church function. We played in church for this concert and the drummer that was supposed to do it couldn’t make it and Ron was actually the sub for the date and we had never played together, he didn’t rehearse or anything. He came right in and at the time he was probably 19 years old. I was like “Man, this kid’s gonna be good.” And he looks up to me as a big brother figure and we just do a lot of things together. We’re kind of like a package deal, you know?
Jazz Monthly: Yeah.
AT: And most of the situations that we play in, he’s the drummer and I’m the bass player, so we have a good chemistry and a nice pocket, nice groove, and no drama.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, I love that, man, and that’s such a cool thing and it just makes the music just ten times better than what it could be.
Jazz Monthly: So that’s always a beautiful thing. And he’s working on a record, isn’t he?
AT: Certainly is. He’s working on a record, I produced a song and co-wrote a song on the record and played on a track, several tracks, and it’s a very good record. Earl’s playing on it, Bob James is playing on it, and a bunch of other great musicians, so that should be out very shortly.
Jazz Monthly: Well, I can’t wait for him to come on and talk about it. Look out for Ron Otis, he’s someone that everyone must check out.
AT: Yeah, it’s a very nice record.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, I talked to him in New York a little while back and we were talking about that, so I’m really looking forward to that.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, man. So now I gotta tell you, man, “Bassin’” is my favorite track.
AT: Okay. All right, all right.
Jazz Monthly: I’m lovin’ that track and “Stopwatch,” you know?
AT: Okay, yeah, yeah.
Jazz Monthly: Two of my favorites.
AT: Well, my favorite track is all of them.
Jazz Monthly: I knew you were gonna say that. I knew it. (Both laugh.)
AT: I’m biased, Smitty. I like ‘em all.
Jazz Monthly: I expect no less.
AT: When we were talking about picking a single for the record, I’m like “Well, every song on the record could be a single, so I’m not gonna pick it.”
Jazz Monthly: Right.
AT: But my mom likes “Stopwatch.” That’s her favorite song.
Jazz Monthly: Yes indeed.
AT: That’s the first single.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, well, I totally agree with her. I mean, I just love that track. I mean, I like ‘em all.
AT: Yeah, I do. My wife loves “Te Quiero.” She’s been saying “That should be your next single” and I must give her all the credit in the world because she really, really helped me to put that thing together. She helped design the cover and everything and just the concept of what that is, and she’s very supportive so I gotta give her big ups on that.
Jazz Monthly: Yes indeed. Well, let’s definitely give her some props because she did a magnificent job. I mean, I love the album cover.
AT: Yeah, that was her and Ryan Scott actually did the work, but it was her, you know, “Let’s try this. Let’s do this.” She is very, very, very intuitive when it comes to those kinds of things. She’s very, very creative.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, and I love the contrast of colors so you can read the liner notes and that kind of thing.
AT: Right, right. That was her idea.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, well, tell her she nailed it.
Jazz Monthly: Because it’s really cool. And I like that same track too, “Te Quiero,” because I really appreciate the rhythm of the strings with you and Earl.
AT: Yeah, you know, I actually wrote that song with Earl in mind, even before I decided to do a record. And I presented it in hopes that he would put it on one of his records. (Both laugh.) But he didn’t. I thank God for that. But he was so gracious enough to play on it and he did a great job, and I was fortunate enough to have it on my record.
Jazz Monthly: And I hope that the listening audience out there, I mean, on all levels, will pick up this record and really give it a listen because this is a breath of fresh air of great music, it really is.
AT: Oh, thank you, thank you.
Jazz Monthly: And I’m so glad that you had a little reunion of sorts with putting Oleta Adams on here to do “Your Will.” That’s a great track.
AT: Oh, man, I have to just tell you the story behind that.
Jazz Monthly: Oh, cool.
AT: Now that we’re on it, because actually “Your Will,” I had a track, I had the music cut for a few years. I’m not gonna tell you how many. (Both laugh.) But it was just a track, it was a music track, and I was happy with the way it was sounding and it was just a rhythm track. I was touring with Oleta at the time, we were out and I asked her to sing on the record, and she said “Well, send me some tracks.” I sent her three different tracks, and “Your Will” was one of them and two other tracks, and I had no idea which one she would pick or decide to work on or if she would like any of them, for that matter. And she recorded a scratch vocal, wrote the lyrics, and sent it to me via e-mail, and I opened it up, Smitty, and I just started crying.