June 14, 2024

Kerry Strayer SeptetKerry Strayer Septet
(Rhombus – 2004)
by Paula Edelstein

If you’re listening for great Kansas City swing and bebop, give Mentor by the Kerry Strayer Septet a hot listen! Joined by guest saxophonist Gary Foster, this ensemble brings a fresh perspective to songs written by Clare Fischer, Charlie Parker, Dave Brubeck, and Ray Noble. Also included are several originals penned by Foster such as “Saturday 10AM,” “Sweet Lips,” and “Warne-ing” with each adding its own special flavor to this special mix.

The CD pays homage to Gary Foster for his ‘mentoring’ during Strayer’s quest to become a professional musician. Topping the many stellar highlights is Strayer’s excellent romp through Parker’s “Yardbird Suite,” with Gary Foster on alto saxophone. Both multi-faceted musicians really re-activate this jazz standard for not only alto sax but for brass, clarinet and baritone sax solos.

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