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Looking for an Album - Gary Smulyan?


Teasing the Korean
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14 minutes ago, jazzbo said:

Thank you!  I believe it is the first one.  I had a promo copy with no sleeve.  Many thanks!

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  • 6 months later...
1 minute ago, JSngry said:

Was it filed under Pepper Adams? 

:lol: I've never seen why a guy who almost photographically reproduces Adams' style was someone I wanted to listen to. In fact the album TTK was  looking for was the one that really turned me off on Smulyan, who couldn't play a ballad to save his life IMO. I bought it used because Bob Belden wrote the string arrangements, and I was curious about how they'd sound. OK but not good enough to make up for the rest.

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24 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

It’s always aggravating when a cd gets misplaced. My wife loaned our truck without talking to me. She got the disc out of the player but left the jewel box in it. I got the jewel box back with the truck, but the cd is still missing several years later.

Well, that's better than misfiling the entire truck!

18 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Was it filed under Pepper Adams? 

Ha ha!  No rhyme or reason to office filing.  Discs scattered in various drawers and cabinets.  

8 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

I bought it used because Bob Belden wrote the string arrangements...

That was my main interest.

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12 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

:lol: I've never seen why a guy who almost photographically reproduces Adams' style was someone I wanted to listen to.

This sounds a lot like your anti-Eric Alexander stance. Can no modern player emulate any older player and gain your "approval"? There are so many classic players that as time goes on, any new player almost has to sound close to someone else from history.

I like listening to and seeing Smulyan because he's alive, putting out new CDs and playing at clubs. Pepper Adams died in 1986. If I want to hear someone play in that style, Smulyan is a great choice. I've seen Smulyan live many times over the years and he puts on a great performance. If he's comes through the area again, I'll be there again.

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It does sound like my E.A. stance. To which I would say that there are degrees of emulation and Smulyan IMO crosses the line, in part because Adams' style was so distinctive. An exception FWIW  to my Smulyan and E.A. stances would be my taste for Grant Stewart. I've thought about why for me he is an exception, and I think it's because his models are more various (both Mobley and Rollins) than one track (more or less) and because  I always get the feeling that Stewart is being personally inventive in the moment, even when an outright Rollins-ism creeps in.

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So I just re-listened to this album for the first time since getting the promo ages ago.  I realize now that I hung onto it primarily because of Bob Belden's involvement, but I'd forgotten that he was part of the album when I posted about it in March.

Anyway, I thought it was a pleasant "with strings" album, the kind of thing I like to have on in the background while I'm working.  Belden's arrangements seemed nice but they didn't particularly grab me.  And yes, I picked up on the Pepper Adams thing.  

Overall, worth keeping.

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18 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Was Bob doing Bob in the charts or was he role-playing?

Not that those are always going to be different things, but Bob had a very broad set of skills 

The album was on in the background.  The charts were certainly not striking in the way that The Black Dahlia is.  They sounded like tasteful backings with nice harmonies, nothing that sounded dated on the one hand nor particularly adventurous or groundbreaking on the other.  Again, this is based on one listen in the background.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/3/2022 at 7:42 AM, bresna said:

This sounds a lot like your anti-Eric Alexander stance. Can no modern player emulate any older player and gain your "approval"? There are so many classic players that as time goes on, any new player almost has to sound close to someone else from history.

I like listening to and seeing Smulyan because he's alive, putting out new CDs and playing at clubs. Pepper Adams died in 1986. If I want to hear someone play in that style, Smulyan is a great choice. I've seen Smulyan live many times over the years and he puts on a great performance. If he's comes through the area again, I'll be there again.

Bresna, I am with you on this issue. The number of fine jazz musicians over the years who emulated others is very lengthy.

There was a time when a long list of alto players were accused of being too much under the spell of Charlie Parker. Similar accusations were aimed at Paul Quinichette for sounding too much like Lester Young. And the list goes on and on.

By the way, if you listen to a variety of Eric Alexander's recordings you can hear a wide range of influences from George Coleman, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon and others. Yet he does not sound at all like any one of them. In fact his influences are far less dominant than the single Pres influence on Quinichette.   

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

and yet, meh. 

I  agree. As for Quinichette, the Prezian model is obvious, and yet no one would mistake Lady Q for anyone but himself. His connection to Prez was a deep soul connection, so to speak -- a way Quinichette found to express the unique musician/human being he was. A strange thing, perhaps unparalleled in any art,  but there it is, at least as I see it. A key here perhaps is that Quinichette's model was not vintage Basie Prez, the Prez that virtually all Prez disciples bounced off of, but the " increasingly oblique, more or less "wounded Prez of the mid- to late-'40s,

BTW, Dan Morgenstern once pointed out to me that the vintage styles/approaches of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn can be traced pretty directly to two specific Prez solos. I checked it out at the time, and damned if he wasn't right. One of them was "Blow Top," don't recall the other one. Nor do I recall which Prez solo, according to Dan, inspired which man.

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19 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

As for Quinichette, the Prezian model is obvious, and yet no one would mistake Lady Q for anyone but himself. His connection to Prez was a deep soul connection, so to speak -- a way Quinichette found to express the unique musician/human being he was. A strange thing, perhaps unparalleled in any art,  but there it is, at least as I see it. A key here perhaps is that Quinichette's model was not vintage Basie Prez, the Prez that virtually all Prez disciples bounced off of, but the " increasingly oblique, more or less "wounded" Prez of the mid- to late-'40s,

:tup very well said!

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On 03/10/2022 at 2:44 AM, Larry Kart said:

:lol: I've never seen why a guy who almost photographically reproduces Adams' style was someone I wanted to listen to. In fact the album TTK was  looking for was the one that really turned me off on Smulyan, who couldn't play a ballad to save his life IMO. I bought it used because Bob Belden wrote the string arrangements, and I was curious about how they'd sound. OK but not good enough to make up for the rest.

If you're looking for a present day baritonist who sounds like Adams, your obvious choice is not Smulyan, but Frank Basile:

ab67616d0000b2734b6df0fce904bba1cf81d593

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I knew Frank for a quick minute when we played some weddings together over a six month or so period. I found him to be a delightful player even in that stilted context.

More importantly, I found him to be a gas as a person, an animated conversationalist  with a broad knowledge base and an animated wit.

People like that, you like to see them do well! 

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

I knew Frank for a quick minute when we played some weddings together over a six month or so period. I found him to be a delightful player even in that stilted context.

More importantly, I found him to be a gas as a person, an animated conversationalist  with a broad knowledge base and an animated wit.

People like that, you like to see them do well! 

Ditto. I met him at a gig in Southport, UK.

Is he originally from Texas, then?

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