Monday, March 05, 2007

Kerry Strayer- Night Lights (The Lonely Night)

The light is off.

Kerry Strayer is one a couple dozen prominent jazz musicians too often taken for granted in Kansas City. He regularly leads bands at area clubs and lounges. So what happens when a guy like Strayer leaves town? Ten years ago this month Strayer was joined by the jazz world's top musicians in a New York studio. The resulting Jeru Blue: A Tribute to Gerry Mulligan on Palmetto Records is an outstanding straight-ahead date. Randy Brecker and Ted Rosenthal are two of the stars heard here. But it's Strayer's perfect tone and deeply emotive work on baritone saxophone that make this devastatingly gorgeous ballad memorable.

My review of Friday's George Strait, Ronnie Milsap and Taylor Swift concert is here.

A primitive St. Louis music 'zine blew my impressionable mind back in the early '80s. It made me realize that I wasn't alone; other geeks were out there. A decade later I found myself working with many of the editors and writers of Jet Lag. The first five issues are now online. They demonstrate how pathetically underground the "alternative" scene was "back in the day." I implore you kids to scroll through the site- you'll quickly realize that being a fan back then really was like walking five miles to school in two feet of snow. This was punk.

Kansas City Click: Last Monday night, the country-folk side of Wilco was represented at the Record Bar by Autumn Defense. Wilco's arty jazz/noise/classical side takes its turn tonight when drummer Glenn Kotche takes the stage. Olympic Size opens.


Lee said...

Strayer put out "Play It Where It Lays," a decent straight ahead release late last year. He's backed up by some of those overlooked KC musicians (Paul Smith, Bob Bowman and Todd Strait) plus Gary Foster and cut with the late Frank Mantooth.

Some of the arrangements had the sweet bite of vintage Benny Carter.

Happy In Bag said...

I enjoyed hearing your jazz picks today on KCUR, Lee. The Steve Kuhn was especially nice.