Gary Smulyan with Strings

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Charlie Parker's love affair with strings, most notably during the 1950s for Verve Records, made it acceptable for other saxophonists to undertake similar projects. After all, if a player of the magnitude of Parker can indulge, than it must be OK for everyone else. Gary Smulyan, who was a member of the Charles Mingus Big Band, undertook the daunting task of linking the deep, robust sound of a baritone with a string section without creating more than sugar-coated boredom. With the help of Bob Belden's charts, that musical objective is achieved. The deep sound and rich color unique to the baritone is used to good effect on such ballads as "The Bad and the Beautiful," "Lush ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Charlie Parker's love affair with strings, most notably during the 1950s for Verve Records, made it acceptable for other saxophonists to undertake similar projects. After all, if a player of the magnitude of Parker can indulge, than it must be OK for everyone else. Gary Smulyan, who was a member of the Charles Mingus Big Band, undertook the daunting task of linking the deep, robust sound of a baritone with a string section without creating more than sugar-coated boredom. With the help of Bob Belden's charts, that musical objective is achieved. The deep sound and rich color unique to the baritone is used to good effect on such ballads as "The Bad and the Beautiful," "Lush Life," and "Beware My Heart." To avoid being trapped in the sensualness of lush arrangements, Smulyan and Belden offer contrasting, crisper, peppier arrangements and renditions for numbers like "The Moment of Truth." The Latin beat is introduced with "Two for the Seesaw." Strings notwithstanding, the ace rhythm section of Mike LeDonne, Kenny Washington, and Peter Washington remind the listener that this is, after all, a jazz album, and provide support to the Smulyan saxophone within that context. They have an opportunity to stretch out on several of the cuts without any competition from the strings. Smulyan and LeDonne work together with excellent results on "Lush Life" and LeDonne's piano gets extended play on "Two for the Seesaw." A good baritone added to imaginative string arrangements blended with a first-class rhythm section equals a fine album
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/1997
  • Label: Criss Cross
  • EAN: 8712474112920
  • Catalog Number: 1129
  • Sales rank: 376,243

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gary Smulyan Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Baritone Saxophone
Bob Belden Conductor
Mike LeDonne Piano
Kenny Washington Drums
Regina Carter Violin
Mark Feldman Violin
Erik Friedlander Cello
Clay Ruede Cello
Laura Seaton Violin
Peter Washington Bass
Cenovia Cummins Violin
Tomas Ulrich Cello
Ron Lawrence Viola
Technical Credits
Bob Belden Arranger
Stanley Crouch Liner Notes
David Raksin Composer
Gerry Teekens Producer, Cover Design
James Van Heusen Composer
Max Bolleman Engineer
H. Bloemendaal Cover Design
K. Hasselpflug Executive Producer
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