Friday, August 30, 2013

Now's the Time: James Carter

Don't let James Carter's elegant tribute to Charlie Parker's "with strings" sessions in the embedded video fool you.  The saxophonist is a ferocious musician.  Carter will serve as the special guest of Poncho Sanchez's Latin Jazz Band on Friday, September 6, at the Gem Theater. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*From Chris Burnett of the American Jazz Museum: I have wonderful news to share regarding “Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival”. The headliner talent has been finalized and with center around our new theme “Salute To George Duke” – featuring headliners: Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle & Maysa, Con Funk Shun, The Messenger Legacy, Bettye LaVette, Kelley Hunt with local and regional talent! A great way to honor the legacy of the late a great master artist!  We are pleased to announce that plans for the Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival are generating excitement throughout the metropolitan area. To ensure success, we will be presenting a one-day event again this year. It is important to the Kansas City region to keep the momentum of this great event moving forward with an eye to offering a multiple-day festival format in the coming years.

*The Mutual Musicians Foundation published a schedule of events related to Charlie Parker's birthday. 

*Libby Hanssen and KC Jazz Lark reviewed Vine Street Rumble's recent performance at the Blue Room.

*The Kansas City Star published a fall jazz preview.

*Larry Appelbaum published a blindfold test he conducted with Bobby Watson in 2010 at his blog.

*An editorial in The Kansas City Star notes the role the late Marian McPartland played in the history of Kansas City's jazz scene.

*Russell Thorpe provides an update on Phonologotronic.

*London's Royal Albert Hall hosts a tribute to Charlie Parker on August 28. 

*Tweet o' the Week: Frank Basile- Tune into @WKCRjazz now through Thursday for 72 straight hours of Lester Young and Charlie Parker!!

*Comment o' the Week: Russell- Because we are not plumbers or electricians. I think most people who are not musicians would argue that our skill-sets and services occupy the tippy tippy top of Mazlow's heirarchy. One can live a secure and comfortable life without going out to see musicians every night. I mean face it, It's not like our skill-sets and services and the fancy thoughts we get to think as musicians are on par with "gotta eat, need a roof, jeez its cold i need clothes, gotta eat, the rent is too damn high, and etc"  We also have the detrimental benefit of recording. Music has been a noun for quite some time now. You have a tangible artifact that will be exactly the same each time you listen to it (which is whole other psychoaucoustic issue). Music a long time ago used to be a VERB that EVERYONE in the community participated in. Stomping and clapping and dancing and yelling and trancing and all the rest of the ecstatic behaviors the humans display. This is not to say that this doesn't happen today, but what I'm really saying is most people have absolutely zero awareness of the visceral reaction their bodies have when listening to musics. The whole mind/body thing and the cognitive and physiological magic that is music. (which is why we, musicians, do it)  As many a pundit would decry "we are losing our culture!" or "America is being poisoned" and etc, in some sense is correct. Communities are not what they once were, and music has shifted to a much more private experience, so the importance of the musician, that person or family who you sought out when you and your friends wanted to get together and dance around and drink fermented honey and etc, has become as a throwaway person or thing, filling a temporary hedonic want because you find them soothing or agitating until your attention flits to another place then another then another, and your musical experiences are nothing but an interrupted series of snippets.  Lack of attention span, lack of physiological and social awareness, and the relentless crush of capitalism for cheap. And I don't even want to touch the "anyone who doesn't fulfill Jazz Quests 1-10 is going to burn forever in hellish environs and we shall forever scorn them" debate that people like to rage about.  Bottom line, capitalism. Musicians have/want/need to spend so much time honing their technique that, unless they have inexhaustible amounts of energy to keep up with the entrepenurial demands of succeeding, something is gonna slack. blah blah blah blah -----> sad trombone

*From a press release: Hollywood composer Conrad Pope and writer Alessandro de Gaetano, with assistance from Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, launched a $14,000 Kickstarter goal to produce the musical stage play All for a Song based on the life and career of Kansas City Jazz Legend Myra Taylor.  The Kickstarter end date is Sept. 5. To date, only $577 has been raised. To assist their former Wild Woman and dear friend Myra, the Wild Women of Kansas City are holding a fundraiser. All monies raised will go to this project.  Date / Time:  September 1, 2-5 p.m.  Where:  Hotel Phillips, 12th and Baltimore, KCMO, in the 12 Baltimore Restaurant.  Entrance Fee:  None, but generous donations are appreciated.  The Wild Women will perform. There will be splendid raffles, menu items and cocktails.

*From a press release: The fall lineup for the JCCC Jazz Series has been set. The series, which showcases the talents of local jazz musicians, takes place at noon on Tuesdays for six consecutive weeks from Sept. 24 to Oct. 29. All performances, which are free and open to the public, are held in the Recital Hall of the Carlsen Center unless otherwise noted. Here's the lineup: Sept. 24- Roger Wilder Quintet; Oct. 1- Tim Whitmer Trio; Oct. 8- Dan Bliss and Rod Fleeman, guitars; Oct. 15- Everett Freeman Quartet; Oct. 22- James Ward Band featuring Ron Gutierrez, Polsky Theatre; Oct. 29- John Brewer presents Mosaic Jazz.

*From a press release: Black Lab, a new music festival sponsored by Black House Collective and Charlotte Street Foundation, will celebrate innovative new work being produced by artists and composers in the Midwest. The festival will take place in September and October 2013 in downtown Kansas City at Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery, with performances each Thursday and Saturday night, featuring a wide range of talented musicians, dancers and artists.  Black Lab kicks off on Thursday, September 5 with a free opening night featuring a series of collaborative performances by Kansas City-based composers, performers, and artists. Russell Thorpe will premiere a new duet for alto saxophone and euphonium, and composer Teri Quinn will collaborate with costume designer Lynn Thonet and writer Sarah Mundy for a chaotic fashion show. Hunter Long will premiere two pieces, one choreographed and performed by Chadi El-Khoury, and the other a series of portraits for soprano titled "Now That I'm Dead I Know Everything."… Please visit for current info and tickets. Here's a related blog post.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Album Review: The Paul Shinn Trio- Reason Pure

Reason Pure is notable for what it's not.  The debut album by the Paul Shinn Trio, three young musicians who recently cut their teeth on Kansas City's jazz scene, is not another fashion-conscious recording that reflects the pervasive influence of Brad Mehldau and Robert Glasper. 

Instead of being in thrall of either of the two trendiest jazz pianists of the new millennium, Reason Pure is a shockingly traditional recording.  Shinn cites Benny Green in the liner notes.  The acknowledgement is telling.  Part of the neo-conservative movement associated with Wynton Marsalis, Green places an emphasis on studying the works of past jazz masters.

Shinn's fluency on Reason Pure would undoubtedly garner Green's approval.  Shinn sounds more like Art Tatum than Tommy Flanagan on a swinging rendition of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps."  The joyful strut of "All the Things Your Are" echoes the work of Oscar Peterson. 

Shinn is abetted by two of Kansas City's best-known young musicians.  Drummer Ryan Lee propels "Chalk Mountain" with an insinuating urgency.  The deeply rewarding groove on Miles Davis' "Tune Up" is driven by bassist Dominique Sanders.  A buoyant reading of "In My Life" emphasizes the melody of the Lennon-McCartney song.

The trio goes electric on the closing track "The Ballad of the Missal Robber's Son."  The unexpected transition is jarring.  The new textures are intriguing, but including just a single selection in this format doesn't make sense.  A double album of separate acoustic and electric discs would have made a good album even better.  Perhaps aware that's precisely what Robert Glasper did on his 2009 album Double-Booked, Shinn might have rejected the ambitious concept outright.

In spite of his refusal to be linked to either Glasper or Mehldau, Shinn is anything but musty.  Reason Pure is a fine swing-oriented album that demonstrates the breadth of Kansas City's jazz scene in 2013.   After an extended Sunday night residency at the Green Lady Lounge, Shinn recently moved to Boulder.  Reason Pure is an essential souvenir of his time in Kansas City.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Now's the Time: Bram Wijnands

Here's something you don't see (or hear) every day.  Bram Wijnands cavorts on some sort of pipe organ in the embedded video.  Curiosity seekers might also enjoy watching Wijnands use a "home built piano tilter".  The Dutch transplant plays a conventional stationary piano at the Majestic on Friday and Saturday and at the Green Lady Lounge on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Bobby and Pamela Baskin-Watson are one of the "create couples" examined by KCUR.  (Via Tony's Kansas City.)

*KCJazzLark documents Saturday's concert at Megan Birdsall's performance space.

*Will Friedwald defends the location of this weekend's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in his preview of the star-studded event.

*The Charlotte Street Foundation has posted the schedule for Black Lab: A New Music Festival.

*Dominique Sander's new single "Isoar" is recommended if you like the Pat Metheny Group, Bobby Watson and Jaco Pastorius.

*The Pitch highlights Saturday's performance by Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo 7 at the Kill Devil Club.

*An extended clip of Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle's recent performance at the Blue Room has been posted at Soundcloud.

*Matt Kane's Suit Up! was reviewed by Audiphile Audition.

*Incitare, a jazz fusion album by Volto!, was released two weeks ago.  The Kansas-born Danny Carey is the band's drummer.

*Tweet o' the Week: Steve Paul- Basie auto-bio co-writer: "@nytimesbooks: Albert Murray, Essayist Who Challenged the Conventional, Dies at 97 (link)

*Comment o' the Week: Lori Chandler- Saul, your assumptions are incorrect. I can assure you the musicians that play Take Five do not play for pastries. We have ALWAYS compensated our musicians; even when we first started, even when the crowds weren't there. Now they get 100% of door and still have a minimum guarantee to protect them against off nights. We consider the musicians that play Take Five as part of our family. If you have questions about it, perhaps ask one of them, or ask me directly.

*From Jim Mair: One of Kansas City Kansas Community College’s most successful vocalists will return to the KCKCC campus to kick off the 2013 “Jazz By The Lake” Series Thursday, Sept. 5.  Lisa Henry, one of the finest jazz vocalists in the world and former KCKCC student, will bring the Lisa Henry Quartet to the KCKCC Conference Center adjacent to the Campus Lake for a noon performance…  The 2013 Fall schedule (all performances from noon-1 p.m.): Sept. 5 – Lisa Henry Quartet.  Oct. 3 – Ron Scheps Quintet, a hard-swinging New York City Jazz quintet featuring Scheps on tenor sax and Jim O-Connor on trumpet.  Nov. 7 – Sneak Peak, “Bop in the Dotte” featuring Kansas City Jazz Artists from the traveling jazz portrait show by Dan White in cooperation with the KCK Public Library.  Dec. 5 – “Bop in the Dotte” featuring KC Jazz All-Stars from the traveling jazz portrait show by Dan White in cooperation with the KCK Public Library.

*From Take Five Coffee: Here's a weekend to get your mind blown. At Take Five Coffee + Bar we get to host some of the most exciting talent, young and old, that Kansas City's music scene contains. This weekend serves as a three-day showcase to prove the point.  Friday evening, get in early, then hold onto something solid because here in the intimate confines of our little coffee lounge, we'll have a force of nature called Parallax. Trumpet titan Stan Kessler lets his wild side out for this group, blowing original tunes as fierce as a thunderstorm on the open prairie. Seasoned veterans Roger Wilder on the Rhodes and Bill McKemy on bass and sousaphone counterbalance the young stunt drumming duo of Brian Steever and Ryan Lee.  Saturday evening, it's the Young Loins of Jazz. Maybe the name started with a typo, but this group certainly brings the visceral power to back it up. Micah Herman, a ferocious bassist who doesn't get heard often enough, leads a cluster of rising stars: Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Steve Lambert on winds and Brian Steever on drums.  Sunday evening, to wrap things up in a perfect way, two of the city's deepest players will present an intimate duet set. Bassist Bob Bowman and guitarist Danny Embrey have the chops and interplay that only come with decades of devoted artistry.  Friday and Saturday shows start at 8pm, Sunday starts at 7, each night the cover is $5.

*From a press release: Kansas City groups, The Project H and Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle will perform together on Saturday, August 24th starting at 7pm at the mBird Media event space (2936 Cherry) in a concert open to the public.  The concert is $5 to attend features two of the most popular jazz groups in the area. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and their own beverages.  The Project H will open up at 7pm and will showcase several new original compositions by trombonist, Ryan Heinlein. Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle will start at approximately 8:40pm and will feature original compositions by pianist, Eddie Moore.  The Project H consists of Ryan Heinlein (trombone), Clint Ashlock (trumpet), Brett Jackson (woodwinds), Jeff Stocks (guitar), Andrew Ouellette (keyboard), Dominique Sanders (bass) and Matt Leifer (drums). This group was nominated for "Best Jazz Ensemble" by The Pitch in 2012 and has shared the stage with groups such as: The Bad Plus, Snarky Puppy, Monophonics, Rebirth Brass Band and Big Sam's Funky Nation. Their second album, "Become Light", was named the second best local jazz release by the Plastic Sax blog.  Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle consists of Eddie Moore (piano), Dominique Sanders (bass), Matt Leifer (Drums) and Matt Hopper (guitar). Moore was recently nominated for "Best Jazz Soloist" by The Pitch. Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle are currently supporting their debut recording, "The Freedom of Expression."

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting a Kick Out of Myra Taylor

A Kickstarter campaign for a musical based on the life of Myra Taylor has raised less than five percent of its goal of $14,000.  While I can't vouch for the project, I know that's it's impossible to recall Taylor's frequent performances during the last two decades of her life without smiling.  Her 2001 album My Time to Dream is one of the most enjoyable traditional Kansas City jazz recordings of the past 25 years.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Now's the Time: New Jazz Order, Forward and Allie Burik

Megan Birdsall is putting on a show Saturday, August 17. Her performance space at MBird Media, 2936 Cherry, will host the New Jazz Order big band, Clint Ashlock's Forward and an ensemble led by Allie Burik. Joe Klopus provides additional details about the event in his weekly column. (Birdsall performs at a recent benefit concert in the embedded clip.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Harold O'Neal's Man On the Street album was released last week.  The Pitch recommends the pianist's performance at the Blue Room on Saturday, August 17.

*Jimmy Heath, Kenny Garrett, Lee Konitz, Christian Scott and Matt Wilson are among the jazz stars slated to perform at this month's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.  Kansas City residents will need to book a flight.

*The People's Liberation Big Band took the top prize for best jazz ensemble and Mark Lowrey took the honors for top "jazz solo artist at the Pitch Music Awards.

*Here's a fresh video of Pat Metheny and his Orchestrion.

*The "other" Kansas City jazz blogger acknowledges his fourth anniversary.

*Jeff Tamarkin reviews both of Eldar Djangirov's new albums.

*All About Jazz offers a profile of Mike Dillon.

*The Mutual Musicians Foundation is involved in an effort to bridge the digital divide.

*Ben Van Gelder will perform at Take Five Coffee + Bar on October 4.

*Tweet o' the Week: Clint Ashlock- Peter Schlamb might be the best musician I've ever heard.

*Comment o' the Week: BGO- What was the median age of the crowd?

*From Clint Ashlock: I've got a pretty exciting concert coming up at mBird Media (Megan's new venue at 2936 Cherry) on August 17th, at 7:30. It's with my big band New Jazz Order, and also featuring my new quintet Forward and sax phenom Allie Burik's group, doing her tunes (instrumental as well as her killin vocals). It's $10 at the door to catch all three bands.

*From Steve Rigazzi: Please join us at Kansas City’s newest Jazz hotspot, Green Lady Lounge…  Owner John Scott and staff are the perfect hosts…  Joining me will be Paul Smith on piano and Tim Cambron on drums. Thursday, August 15, 8-11 p.m.

*From Take Five Coffee + Bar: Want to hear something new? Come hear Allie Burik at Take Five Coffee + Bar Friday night. Watchers of the New Jazz Order big band have seen Allie on the front line, growing in power and command of the alto sax. Here's the kicker: she also has a terrific voice and writes a lot of her own material. Don't miss this chance to enjoy her work before she goes off to Berklee to further hone her many crafts. In the first set Friday night, fronting of an all-star band, Allie will debut a new suite she wrote this summer.  Want to hear a legend? Bryan Hicks is making his Take Five debut Saturday night. Years ago, in college, Doug would drive from Lawrence to Milton's Taproom on Main for live jazz, and often it was the Bryan Hicks Trio. We're thrilled to close the circle and host Bryan at Take Five, backed by some serious power: TJ Martley on piano, Brian Steever on drums and Steve Lambert on sax.

*From Jim Mair: The Kansas City Jazz All Stars program and Kansas City Youth Jazz Orchestra will hold auditions on Monday August 19 and Wednesday August 21 from 3:00 to 4:30pm each day.  I'm looking for the very best kids who are reliable and want to become great players. This will be an intense program but it will be enjoyable at the same time.  I will be leading the group this year and would like to rehearse twice a week on Monday and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:00pm at KCKCC. Hermon Mehari will continue to assist.
The cost will be $100 per student…

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cooking With Gas

I've been sleeping on one the region's most popular jazz bands.

Until I witnessed the excited frenzy at the Gaslight Grill last Monday, I didn't realize that the New Red Onion Jazz Babies' monthly appearance in the back room of the Leawood restaurant was one of the hottest tickets in town. I hadn't seen the band perform since Jardine's was shuttered and had wrongly assumed that it was running on fumes. 

With a average tab that probably exceeds $25, attending the monthly concert of traditional jazz is a pricey proposition.  Even so, reservations for the event are tough to secure.

Gregarious owner Dick Hawk claims that the New Red Onion Jazz Babies is the world's finest Dixieland band. He contributed a bit of enthusiastic keyboard work as he sat in with the large ensemble during the second of three sets.  Lynn Zimmer, the clarinetist who leads a band at the venue several nights a week, was just one of the group's outstanding soloists.

The toe-tapping music is complimented by excellent service and fine dining.   While I'd been oblivious to its popularity, the appeal of the monthly gathering isn't difficult to understand. 

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Luqman Hamza: An Appreciation

Luqman Hamza was first featured at Plastic Sax in 2007.  An elegant man and exquisite musician, Hamza's public profile has faded in the intervening six years.  That's why the embedded interview and accompanying performance video are so welcome.  Hamza is an overlooked gem.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*George Duke, the headliner of the forthcoming 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival, died Monday.  From the American Jazz Museum: The American Jazz Museum Staff and Board of Directors send deepest sympathies to the family and friends during this time of enormous loss. Mr. Duke was slated to be our headliner for Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival on October 12. With the advent of this news, our festival management team is in the process of adjusting our 2013 talent lineup accordingly. A festival talent line up update will be announced as soon as possible. Thank you for your kind consideration.

*The Topeka Jazz Workshop has announced its 2013-14 schedule.  The Topeka Capitol-Journal has the story.

*Joe Klopus' acknowledgement of the scorn heaped upon Charlie Parker by many area residents has gained a lot of traction.

*Kerry Strayer is remembered by KC Jazz Lark.

*Sarah Gish of The Kansas City Star wrote a feature about Take Five Coffee + Bar.

*Chris Burnett reconnects with a friend and mentor.

*T.J. Martley demonstrates a practice exercise based on Charlie Parker's "Chi-Chi."

*12th Street Jump offers another episode of "Blues In the News."

*Harry Connick, Jr. will perform at the Midland on November 17.

*Tweet o' the Week: MBIRDMUSIC: Im sad but grateful for life...appreciating the legacy and inspiration left by a friend and fellow musician #kerrystrayer

*Comment o' the Week: Peter Lawless: There is also an assumption in this piece that the rock musicians are not in "for the music. Period." It's a common form of jazz snobbery, saying, "if they really cared about music, they'd be playing jazz."  Jake played in several rock bands in KC and Lawrence while he was here. My guess would be that, at that time, he probably made more money playing jazz gigs than rock shows.  You're comparing playing local restaurants and jazz clubs to touring internationally with one of the most famous rock bands in the world. You're sort of saying, "I'm so glad people commit themselves to playing week nights at the Blue Room, instead of touring with Herbie Hancock."  Jake is in a special position. There are plenty of locally-based rock musicians who play for small crowds and make little money, and they are just as committed as the jazz musicians playing for crowd and making little money.

*From Paul Shinn: It pleases us to announce the release of the trio's first studio album entitled "Reason Pure." This album contains solely original music music and arrangements that the trio has been working on for the past few months. We will be playing music from the album throughout the night and CDs will be available for purchase ($15) that we can sign copies of during set breaks.  This will be the final performance of the Paul Shinn Trio in the Kansas City area for a while as Paul will be re-locating to Colorado to continue his studies; however, the group plans to stay together for tours and festivals throughout the KC area and elsewhere. Unlike the video performance recording, this will be a public event, so feel free to stop by anytime between 7 and 10pm and invite anyone you think would enjoy this music!

*From a press release: Piropo’s Piano Bar in Briarcliff Village will be the site of the second annual Dueling Piano Summit to be held Sunday, September 8th 2012 at 3:00 PM. The two-piano concert will last two hours. Participating in the event will be the same musicians as last year – pianists Roger Wilder, Joe Cartwright, Michael Pag├ín, and Bram Wijnands. The performers will match up in different combinations and play two-piano jazz for approximately two hours. Proceeds will benefit Alzheimer’s Association Heart of America Chapter…  Tickets can be reserved in advance for $50.00 by calling 816.589.9384 or by emailing and for $60.00 at the door the day of the show. Seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed for those buying tickets at the door.  Advance purchase is strongly recommended...

*From Take Five Coffee: Friday evening, we have a trio of KC jazz masters delivering the truth in sound. Bassist Gerald Spaits continues to be one of the standard-setters in a town packed with outrageous talent on the instrument. His trio with Charles Perkins on saxophone and Arnold Young on drums and cymbals shows what happens when artists of that caliber work together over many years - intuitive interplay seasoned with complete command of the material.  Saturday evening, singer Shay Estes brings the Latin spice. Fresh back from her travels in Portugal with Fado Novato, Shay will lead us deep into the bewitching melodies of Brazilian jazz. With Mark Lowrey and Doug Auwater as guides, we're likely to find the flavors only the locals know.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Romance Without Finance

I ran into one of Kansas City's most prominent jazz musicians at a rock concert Saturday.  In addition to enjoying the show along with an audience of over 15,000, he was there to greet Jake Blanton.  Blanton, a one-time fixture of Kansas City's music scene, is currently a sideman for a successful rock band.  It's entirely possible that he plays for more people in a single night than the locally-based jazz musician plays for in a year. 

As I waited over 45 minutes in a parking lot for traffic to clear, I wondered if the jazz musician had any misgivings about his commitment to jazz.  Between ticket and merchandise sales, Saturday's event grossed over $600,000.  Most Kansas City-based jazz musicians play for an audience that numbers in the dozens.  And unless they're booked at one of Kansas City's two listening rooms dedicated to jazz, chances are good that they'll face a distracted audience.

As much as I'd like to think that pleasing my refined sensibility with his jazz conceptions is sufficient reward, making that sort of financial sacrifice can't be easy for the man I encountered Saturday.

I listened to Joe Dimino's new Neon Jazz interview with Matt Kane on Sunday.  The loquacious drummer addressed this issue as he discussed the constant indignities faced by jazz musicians in New York City.  Kane said that the challenges force him to constantly "really dig deep and define 'the why'." 

"It's got to be for the music. Period," Kane told Dimino.  He lives for "those moments when it's so beautiful and the music is coming through you and people are spiritually uplifted."

While Kane and the attendee of Saturday's rock concert could almost certainly secure more lucrative work in another genre, they remain committed to jazz.  I'm grateful.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Kerry Strayer, 1956-2013

Kerry Strayer, one of the leading figures of Kansas City's jazz scene for decades, died last night.  He'd been battling prostate cancer for two years. 

From his devoted wife, Gailyn: A memorial service/celebration of life will be next Tuesday, August 6th, 1pm, at the John Knox Presbyterian Kirk, 11430 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO with a visitation/reception immediately following the service.

Kerry Strayer was a great man.  He was passionate, committed, generous and funny.  His wholehearted dedication to jazz continually inspired me.

Robert Trussell of the The Kansas City Star wrote a fine piece about Kerry's contributions.

As reflected by his superlative baritone sax work, he loved the music of Gerry Mulligan.  None of the content available at YouTube does Kerry's talents justice, so I've embedded a Mulligan track.