By Bob Karlovits TRIBUNE-REVIEW Thursday, August 14, 2008 For Mike Tomaro and Marty Ashby, paying tribute to the jazz legacies of Stanley and Tommy Turrentine is as natural as having a picnic in the summer. It seems only appropriate they are doing it at a free, late afternoon concert in Highland Park. "Stanley was a huge influence on me," says saxophonist Tomaro, who also is an arranger and head of jazz studies at Duquesne University. "Matter of fact, anyone who plays this instrument owes something to Stanley." He and Ashby are leading Sunday's "Tribute to Stanley and Tommy Turrentine" at the Reservoir of Jazz concerts at Highland Park. It will feature a group of regional jazz stalwarts who have been operating this year as the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Project. For this show, however, they are just sitting in to tip their music stands to the brothers who are part of that history. "Stanley had the more robust career," says Ashby, the executive producer for MCG Jazz at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in the North Side. He also has acted as the director of the Legacy Project. "But, no, Tommy is not forgotten." Tommy's decision to stay home largely could be the reason for that. They both grew up in the Hill District, and trumpeter Tommy (1928-97) became a bebop blazer, playing in the bands of Benny Carter, Earl Bostic, Charles Mingus, fellow Pittsburgh star Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie. But he never pushed that career further and stayed in his hometown, while Stanley (1934-2000) became a jazz star with a rhythm-and-blues flavor. In some ways, he was a predecessor to players such as Grover Washington Jr. In the late '70s and early '80s, he lost many fans with over-produced, pop-aimed albums. But he returned to a style that featured his fine improvisational skills in the mid-80s, and reaffirmed his role in jazz. Besides playing in clubs and concerts, Stanley Turrentine also performed here in the jazz ballet "Indigo in Motion" months before his death. "He could hit this altissimo note just above the official range of the tenor that just said 'Stanley,'" Tomaro says. "That's one of those things in jazz. There is no good tone or bad tone, just a personal tone." Walt Harper, the late pianist and club owner, often featured Turrentine at his club and would joke about how "if you can't tell Stanley's playing in four notes, you must be deaf." Ashby and Tomaro, however, both talk about Tommy's skill as a performer and writer, and lament he isn't recalled more. "There is a little difference between the two of them that stands out steadily compositionally," Ashby says. "Stanley is more the R&B guy, and Tommy is more of a bebopper." That likely will show up in selections at the tribute, songs such as Tommy's "Junebug" or Stanley's "Two RBs." Tomaro says he was not much attuned to Tommy Turrentine until he returned to Pittsburgh in 1997, but has become since. "There are a lot of people who listen to his recordings and think he was the better player of the two," he says. Bob Karlovits can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.