Bird's Eye · Encounter!
  • Hutman, Reiter, Moore, Kurmann & Smulyan
    Hutman, Reiter, Moore, Kurmann & Smulyan

Gary Smulyan & Ralph Moore

Bird's Eye · Encounter!

Fresh Sound 5000 Series

Gary Smulyan (bs), Ralph Moore (ts), Olivier Hutman (p), Stephan Kurmann (b), Bernd Reiter (d)

Reference: FSRCD 5059

Bar code: 8427328650595

I first met Gary Smulyan in 2004 at the festival “generations” in Frauenfeld (Switzerland) as a young masterclass student, Gary was one of the teachers and also featured soloist of the festival big band. I was very impressed by his incredible musicianship and knowledge, just a true master of the saxophone and the music I tried to play back then: JAZZ. Gary Smulyan is considered among critics and fans as the outstanding baritone saxophonist, started with Woody Herman in 1978, and joined the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra in 1980. In his stellar career Gary has worked with everybody and I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with him more or less 10 years after our first meeting on a nice quartet tour in 2014. Pianist Olivier Hutman already joined us on this tour and we kept getting together for a tour every year since then.

One of Gary’s biggest influences is Pepper Adams, so in May 2017 we decided together to form a quintet following the classic Pepper Adams “Encounter” recording with Zoot Sims, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter and Elvin Jones. Our first choice for the tenor saxophone chair was Ralph Moore who is another master of this music. Ralph worked with the Horace Silver Quintet, with legends and groups just as Roy Haynes, Oscar Peterson, The Mingus Dynasty, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Barron, Ray Brown, J.J. Johnson, Cedar Walton, and many more. Ralph Moore is not only a brilliant musician, he is also just a wonderful, soulful and warm person, great to have him around on and off the bandstand!

My partners in the rhythm-section are Olivier Hutman from Paris on piano and the Swiss bassist Stephan Kurmann. I also met both of them several years ago and had the pleasure to work with them on various occasions over the years. Olivier and Stephan are very experienced musicians, deeply rooted in the music and highly appreciated as soloists and accompanists.

The repertoire of the band follows the classic “Encounter” recording as well, a nice variety of originals by masters such as Thad Jones, Joe Henderson, Tommy Flanagan and of course Pepper Adams. The compositions require strong saxophone section playing on the heads by Gary and Ralph, supported by an active rhythm-section, and provide the perfect ground for extensive soloing for all the band members.

What you hear on this release is the result of a three-week tour which ended at the Bird’s Eye Basel with two nights of live-recording. It was a big pleasure to be part of this tour and recording, thanks to the Bird’s Eye for making it happen and of course to Gary, Ralph, Olivier and Stephan for great playing and wonderful moments on the road! Already looking forward to the next one!!!

—Bernd Reiter (July, 2019)


01. In And Out (Pepper Adams)
02. Body And Soul (Johnny Green)
03. My Ideal (Whiting-Chase)
04. Punjab (Joe Henderson)
05. Verdandi (Tommy Flanagan)
06. Old Folks (Robinson-Hill)
07. Elusive (Thad Jones)

Album details

Gary Smulyan, baritone sax; Ralph Moore, tenor sax; Olivier Hutman, piano; Stephan Kurmann, bass; Bernd Reiter, drums.
Recorded live at the Bird’s Eye, Basel, Switzerland, June 8 & 9, 2018

Engineered by Andy Fritzsche
Mixed by Gilles Douieb in Paris, December 2018
All photos by Martin Studer

Produced by Bernd Reiter
Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

$12.07  (tax incl.)

Add to wishlist

Added to your wishlist.

You can manage your wishlist here.

You're not signed in

You must sign in to manage your wishlist.
Sign in
Delivery information:
Delivery in 5-7 days
Shipping rates Terms and conditions
Payment methods:



Customer reviews

No customer reviews yet. Login to leave your impressions!

Write a review

Bird's Eye · Encounter!
Rate this product:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Your review has been added and will be available once approved by a moderator.