Kerry Strayer Septet: Mentor (2004)
Baritone saxophonist Kerry Strayer studied with Gary Foster, hence the album’s title. Foster’s instrumental voices color the album with a majestic lead. The tradition of Kansas City swing moves straight-ahead into the modern mainstream. Swinging freely, these seven jazz artists improvise over established themes and have fun doing it.
Foster’s alto sax, clarinet, flute, and tenor provide strong leads. Strayer’s baritone, Earlie Braggs’ trombone, and Barry Springer’s trumpet follow suit with expressive forays. The arrangements include solos from the piano trio as well as fours. Strayer’s baritone carries an unusual lightness. Like Gerry Mulligan, he swings lyrically and leaves behind any thoughts of the instrument being large and bulky. In his hands, the deep-voiced instrument serves the same purpose as that of his mentor. Together, Strayer and Foster lead with featured instrumental voices that reflect the best in straight-ahead jazz.
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Track Listing: Saturday 10 AM; Gaviota; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; Sweet Lips; Siempre Me Va Bien; Don
Personnel: Kerry Strayer- baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone on