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Play It Where It Lays

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Album Review

A baritone saxophonist heavily indebted to Gerry Mulligan, Kerry Strayer tends to favor a soloing style that sticks close to the original melody and phrasing that emphasizes the instrument's buzzy lower register. Play It Where It Lays is an album of standards and originals the Kansas City-based saxophonist recorded with his standard rhythm section and his friend and mentor, Gary Foster, on alto and tenor. Strayer was one of Foster's students at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music in the mid-'80s, and both saxophonists have a similarly measured, cerebral playing style that keeps the album from becoming just a blowing session. The set list features some well-chosen tunes from the catalogs of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, and Hank Mobley, and Strayer is the sort of "old wine, new bottles" jazz performer who is careful to point out in his liner notes what familiar chord changes he's nicking on the handful of Strayer and Foster originals. As a result, there's an air of respectful academia about Play It Where It Lays that's both a blessing and a curse: as both a writer and a soloist, Strayer is so reverential to the giants of jazz past that there's a certain lack of personality here. By the end of Play It Where It Lays, the listener is struck by the taste and the tastefulness of the players, but is left with little sense of who they really are.

Play It Where It Lays, Kerry Strayer Quartet
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  • 69,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 03 November 2006

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