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Recordings

Available from
Palmetto
Jeru Blue CD

Jeru Blue

Kerry Strayer Septet featuring Randy Brecker

Personnel

Tracks

  1. Jeru Blue
  2. Rio One
  3. Tell Me When
  4. Festive Minor
  5. Dragonfly
  6. Oh, Mr. Sauter? Yes, Mr. Finegan?
  7. Night Lights (The Lonely Night)
  8. North Atlantic Run
  9. Idol Gossip

All compositions by Gerry Mulligan except “Jeru Blue” by Kerry Strayer. All arrangements by Kerry Strayer.

Reviews

From Ken Poston’s 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 1950’s, the bossa nova trend of the 60’s, 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, Mulligan’s voice was so individual that very few baritone saxophonists have followed his approach.

One saxophonist who has long been influenced by Mulligan’s 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 Mulligan’s 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.

Strayer’s 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.

–Ken Poston