Ryan Kisor - The Usual SuspectsRyan Kisor

The Usual Suspects

Fable/Lightyear 54267-2

Ryan Kisor, trumpet; Peter Zak, piano; John Webber, bass; Willie Jones III, drums.

What a joy to be instantly impressed by fine trumpet playing - here is a man who knows exactly what he is doing; he demonstrates a strong, bright, intelligent sound - his solos weave sure-footed paths of delight and, despite improvisational flights, you know this guy is earthed. Carrying most of the melodic weight, he does not falter in this mature performance. He ends "Sheeryn's Waltz" on a long low G of such purity that your spine might tingle. "Nobody Else But Me", the Jerome Kern number swings along at a good clip. Peter Zak on piano matches Kisor all the way and "M.E.D" ups the tempo allowing Willie Jones III on drums a good bite at the cherry. "Never Let Me Go", a Jay Livingston/Ray Evans ballad leads from a piano opening to fine toned playing from Kisor. His good habit of giving notes full value at the end of phrases is extremely effective. "Hoofin" opens to a bright walking bass and unison drum and trumpet before the piano moulds a fine improvisation - everyone gets a chance to prove their worth in this one. "Below The Rim" has a long modal solo from trumpet, really stepping up a gear; this is written by pianist Peter Zak and he lights up with a solo demonstrating his dexterity and touch. A fitting end is "I've Never Been In Love Before", this popular Frank Loesser piece is given immaculate treatment by the group. This is a well-fashioned set played by a quality bunch that ooze confidence and musicality, they make it all seem too easy - perhaps they need a sterner test?

by Ferdinand Maylin

Editor: This CD is available in Jazz Now Direct mail order catalog.

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