10

Dave Stryker with Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band: Blue Soul

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Stryker with Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band: Blue Soul
Bob Mintzer had an idea. The renowned tenor saxophonist, who serves as principal conductor of Cologne, Germany's world-class WDR Big Band, had made several appearances as guest artist with guitarist Dave Stryker's New York-based organ trio and was so impressed that he thought it would be a good idea to re-orchestrate some of Stryker's music for big band and invite the guitar maestro to return the favor by traveling to Germany and performing as guest artist with the WDR ensemble, an offer that Stryker accepted without pause.

Was Mintzer's idea credible? In a word, yes—the evidence of which abounds on the superb album Blue Soul, wherein Stryker, Mintzer and the WDR merge forces to brighten a trio of Stryker's handsome themes and others by Marvin Gaye ("Trouble Man," "What's Going On"), Prince ("When Doves Cry"), Jimmy Webb ("Wichita Lineman"), Stanley Turrentine ("Stan's Shuffle") and Mintzer's breezy "Aha." Stryker solos adroitly on every track, Mintzer on "Aha," "Stan's Shuffle" and Stryker's prancing "Blues Strut," while the WDR does its part to lend warmth and substance to every number. Stryker's other compositions, the cantering "Came to Believe" and assertive "Shadowboxing," stand out among the album's many pleasurable moments.

Stryker and organist Billy Test share blowing space on Gaye's earnest, blues-based "Trouble Man," which raises the curtain and paves the way for "Aha" and the second offering from Gaye, "What's Going On," a carefree showpiece for Stryker, Test and alto Karolina Strassmayer. A second alto, Johan Horlen, sparkles on "Came to Believe" before Stryker and Mintzer take charge on what is arguably the album's piece de resistance, the bright and irrepressible "Blues Strut." Horlen and drummer Hans Dekker undergird Stryker on the fast-paced "When Doves Cry," trombonist Andy Hunter sparkles on "Wichita Lineman," Dekker and tenor Paul Heller on "Shadowboxing," after which Stryker and Mintzer strike the ideal note on an exemplary codicil, the buoyant "Stan's Shuffle."

Mintzer's idea, as it turns out, was far better than good; it was brilliant. All hands are resolute and standing firm, and Blue Soul is an appetizing entree that should command pride of place on any big-band enthusiast's menu.

Track Listing

Trouble Man; Aha; What’s Going On; Came to Believe; Blues Strut; When Doves Cry; Wichita Lineman; Shadowboxing; Stan’s Shuffle.

Personnel

Dave Stryker: guitar; Bob Mintzer: saxophone; Wim Both: trumpet; Rob Broynen: trumpet; Andy Haderer: trumpet; Ruud Breuls: trumpet; Johan Horlen: saxophone, alto; Karolina Strassmayer: saxophone, alto; Olivier Peters: saxophone, tenor; Paul Heller: saxophone, tenor; Jens Neufang: saxophone, baritone; Ludwig Nuss: trombone; Raphael Klemm: trombone; Andy Hunter: trombone; Mattis Cederberg: trombone; Billy Test: piano; John Goldsby: bass; Hans Dekker: drums.

Album information

Title: Blue Soul | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Strikezone Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read Sleepy Town
Sleepy Town
Jamie Pregnell
Read Momento
Momento
Dave Milligan
Read Peace
Peace
Spirit Fingers
Read Warmer Than Blood
Warmer Than Blood
Chris Montague
Read Off Brand
Off Brand
Collage Project
Read Expanding Light
Expanding Light
Whit Dickey Trio
Read Iron Starlet
Iron Starlet
Connie Han

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.