Gary Smulyan

Saxophone Mosaic

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Gary Smulyan has gradually emerged as one of the top successors to the deep-toned baritonist Pepper Adams. For this Cross Cross CD Smulyan uses a saxophone section partly drawn from the Mel Lewis Orchestra (Dick Oatts on alto and soprano, altoist Billy Drewed, tenors Ralph Lalama and Richie Perry and baritonist Scott Robinson) and a fine rhythm section. The arrangements of Bob Belden are a major factor in the date's success as he successfully revives a variety of obscurities from the 1950s including Quincy Jones's "Stockholm Sweetnin'," Johnny Carisi's "Springsville" and Horace Silver's "Speculation" in colorful fashion. Whlie some of the songs are primarily features for Smulyan, the other saxophonists also have their chances to be heard and, even if the liner notes unfortunately do not identify the exact soloists, this is a well-conceived and easily recommended bop session.

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