Saturday 10am; Gaviota; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; Sweet Lips; Siempre Me Va Bien; Don't Ask Why; Yardbird Suite; In Your Own Sweet Way; The Peacocks; I Hadn't Anyone Till You; Warne-ing (68.12)
Kerry Strayer, baritone, soprano saxes; Gary Foster, alto, tenor saxes, flute, clarinet; Barry Springer, trumpet, flugelhorn; Earlie Bragg, trombone; Frank Mantooth, piano; Bob Bowman, bass; Todd Strait, drums; Gary Helm, percussion - tracks 2 & 5)
Kerry Strayer is a talented baritone saxophonist with an aptitude for arranging and for both of these abilities he gives credit to his former teacher, Gary Foster, whom he regards as his mentor. Gary is the superb West Coast saxophonist who has played in many big bands and small groups over the last thirty or forty years, as well as being first call for the Hollywood Studios.
Strayer, Springer and Braggs are musical buddies who have a long established Kansas City association which, together with the tight guest rhythm section and Gary Foster, have produced this high quality and thought provoking CD.
It is not just a blowing session, though there are many fine crafted solos throughout the album, but a musical setting that Kerry has laid out to suit the character of the eight individuals.
Whether dealing with the compositions of such imaginative writers as Clare Fischer, Billy Strayhorn and Jimmy Rowles or the established standards, the music on this disc provides an excellence not often found in today's Jazz. All the players are brilliant soloists but if I had to select one musician, it must surely be the great Gary Foster for his beautiful interpretations.
by Al Merritt
New Sounds - September 2004
Jazz Now Interactive September 2004 Vol 14 No. 5 - Table of Contents