Gary Smulyan with Strings

Gary Smulyan with Strings

by Gary Smulyan


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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

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/1997
Label: Criss Cross
UPC: 8712474112920
catalogNumber: 1129
Rank: 208085

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gary Smulyan   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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