Kerry Strayer Septet featuring Randy Brecker
- Kerry Strayer baritone saxophone
- Randy Brecker trumpet, flugelhorn
- Dean Johnson bass
- John Mosca trombone
- Ted Nash tenor saxophone, flute
- Ted Rosenthal piano
- Ron Vincent drums
- Jeru Blue
- Rio One
- Tell Me When
- Festive Minor
- Oh, Mr. Sauter? Yes, Mr. Finegan?
- Night Lights (The Lonely Night)
- North Atlantic Run
- Idol Gossip
All compositions by Gerry Mulligan except Jeru Blue by Kerry Strayer. All arrangements by Kerry Strayer.
- Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM)
- All About Jazz: Joel Roberts
- All About Jazz: Dave Hughes
- All About Jazz: Jack Bowers
From Ken Postons liner notes:
Gerry Mulligan left an incredible musical legacy as both a composer/arranger as well as a player. His compositions and arrangements span five decades and in that time he helped define several styles of jazz including the cool jazz movement of the 1950s, the bossa nova trend of the 60s, and a redefinition of big band jazz with The Concert Jazz Band.
During his lifetime, Mulligan wrote literally hundreds of songs, many of which are considered masterpieces. He had an uncanny knack for making the difficult sound easy which helped define the Mulligan mystique.
As a player, most people agree that Mulligan is the most influential baritone saxophonist in jazz history. Ironically though, Mulligans voice was so individual that very few baritone saxophonists have followed his approach.
One saxophonist who has long been influenced by Mulligans music is Kerry Strayer. It was actually a recording of Mulligan and Paul Desmond that got him interested in jazz in the first place.
Kerry has been active on the Kansas City jazz scene for a number of years now as a respected educator and most notably as leader of Kerry Strayer and the New Kansas City 7. For this project Kerry decided to pay tribute to Gerry Mulligan by recording his own arrangements of eight Mulligan compositions and one original of his own titled Jeru Blue. To really make the project special he enlited the help of an old friend from Kansas City, Ron Vincent, who just happened to be Gerry Mulligans longtime drummer. Together they put together an all-star group made up of a host of brilliant players. In addition to Kerry Strayer on baritone and soprano, the front line consists of Randy Brecker, Ted Nash and John Mosca. The rhythm sectioin consists of Ted Rosenthal, Dean Johnson and Ron Vincent who made up three-fourths of the most recent Gerry Mulligan quartet.
Strayers arrangements of the Mulligan compositions are influenced by Mulligan in theory but clearly reflect his own style and personality. His baritone saxophone sound and approach is influenced by Mulligan as well, but again he has forged his own sound and style which displays a strong sense of lyricism and melodic structure.
Jeru Blue serves as a fitting tribute to Gerry Mulligan as well as a great introduction to Kerry Strayer.