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by AAJ Staff
The Kerry Strayer band is a working group based in Kansas City, led by saxophonist/arranger Strayer, and like any self-respecting jazz musicians from K.C., they swing. The mentor" referred to by the title is Gary Foster, noted not only for his extensive studio experience in California, but also for bringing a refreshing hint of West Coast jazz to his playing. He was a mentor to the leader, and he is an asset to the album at hand.
The ...read more
by Jack Bowers
It takes years to learn to play jazz as well as Kerry Strayer does, and one always needs a mentor —perhaps several—to help him (or her) reach such a lofty plateau. Gary Foster, among the West Coast’s best and busiest reed masters, is one of Kansas City-based composer/arranger/saxophonist Strayer’s most influential teachers, and it is Foster to whom Kerry has dedicated his third album as leader, one on which the honoree plays a pivotal role.
Not only does Foster star ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
If there is one accomplishment Kerry Strayer should be proud of, it is his productivity as an arranger. He estimates that over the course of his career he has written 300 hundred charts for his bands. That indeed is impressive. Happily, it is not mere statistics. Strayer breathes life into a song with his arrangements. He knows how to stoke dialogue and to give room to a soloist who fits into the evolution of the tune.
Having musicians ...read more
by Jim Santella
Featuring Gary Foster, this straight-ahead session swings with the timeless tradition of a Kansas City 7, but with the orchestrated sound of a big band or large orchestra. There have been other small jazz groups named Kansas City 7, but Kerry Strayer’s septet captures all the essentials and wraps them all up in one harmonious package. As it moves slowly and gracefully through Alan Broadbent’s “Don’t Ask Why,” for example, the septet combines trumpet, trombone, baritone saxophone and featured alto ...read more