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Album Review

Gary Smulyan and Bob Belden continue their fruitful musical relationship on this somewhat unusual outing. Beginning with an introductory arrangement of Oliver Nelson's up-tempo "Interlude," the disc is then given over to a seven-part "Blue Suite" composed and arranged by Belden. Smulyan leads the proceedings on baritone sax, joined by Bill Charlap on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Kenny Washington on drums, along with four trumpets, three trombones, two French horns, and a tuba. Most of these brass players are Smulyan's fellow members in the historic Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. An extended meditation on the blues in all its variety, the suite features Smulyan's virtuosic, expressive bari playing and fine solos from trumpeters Scott Wendholt and Greg Gisbert, French horn player John Clark, tubist Bob Stewart, and trombonist John Mosca. To hear the blues genesis of some of these compositions — especially "Blues in My Neighborhood," "Charleston Blue," and "Blues Gentility" — requires a careful ear. "Blue Speed" and "Blue Stomp," in contrast, are more straightforward blowing vehicles. Throughout, Blue Suite satisfyingly combines exploratory compositions, carefully developed arrangements, and loose-limbed improvisation, all within the inexhaustible framework of the blues. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: 04 April 1956 in Bethpage, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

b. 4 April 1956, Bethpage, New York, USA. Smulyan started out playing alto saxophone while still very young before changing to the baritone saxophone. In high school he was encouraged to look to jazz as a means of self-expression and he went on to sit in with several noted touring musicians, including Chet Baker, Lee Konitz and Jimmy Knepper. In the mid- to late 70s he studied at SUNY-Potsdam and Hofstra University before joining Woody Herman in 1978. In addition to playing at many venues in the...
Full bio
Blue Suite, Gary Smulyan
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 29 August 2000
  • Clean

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