118

The Kerry Strayer Septet: Jeru Blue: A Tribute to Gerry Mulligan

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
In the years since Gerry Mulligan's death, a number of albums have been recorded in tribute to the great baritone saxophonist and cool jazz patriarch. Kerry Strayer's Jeru Blue, his debut release on the Palmetto label, certainly deserves consideration as one of the best.

Strayer, a Kansas City baritone saxophonist and bandleader, has written eight fresh arrangements of Mulligan compositions and added a terrific original, the title tune, which fits solidly in the Mulligan mode. He has also managed to assemble the entire rhythm section from Mulligan's final quartet: Ted Rosenthal on piano, Dean Johnson on bass, and Ron Vincent, who also produced the album, on drums. This tremendously cohesive unit provides the backbone for some exceptional ensemble playing. Strayer is joined in the top-notch front line by Randy Brecker on trumpet and fluegelhorn, John Mosca on trombone, and Ted Nash on tenor sax and flute.

The selections—including such varied fare as "Rio One," "Festive Minor," "Tell Me When," and "Dragonfly"—highlight Mulligan's contributions to cool jazz, bossa nova, and modern big band jazz. The arrangements are crisp, fluid, and energetic, and the soloists are all first-rate, with Brecker, Rosenthal, Mosca, and Nash each given plenty of room to shine. Strayer himself is a superb, thoughtful player who acquits himself well on both up-tempo numbers and quiet, moody ballads like "Night Lights (The Lonely Night)."

If you're a fan of Gerry Mulligan (and you should be), you'd be well-advised to check out this exciting new examination of his legacy.


Personnel:

Kerry Strayer, baritone, soprano sax; Randy Brecker, trumpet, flugelhorn; John Mosca, trombone; Ted Nash, tenor sax, flute; Ted Rosenthal, piano; Dean Johnson, bass; Ron Vincent, drums.

Title: Jeru Blue: A Tribute to Gerry Mulligan | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Bach: Solo Works for Marimba" CD/LP/Track Review Bach: Solo Works for Marimba
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.