Young trumpeter Philip Dizack
is a new name on the Criss Cross record label but not a new name for those who closely follow the New York jazz scene. Since his arrival in New York, Dizack has been making waves and winning awards with his beautiful tone and dark intensity, both of which were on full display on his last album, End of an Era
(Truth Revolution Records, 2012). For his Criss Cross debut, Dizack continues his maturation as a composer and player, contributing seven original tunes to this inspired recital.
On "Single Soul," Dizack is accompanied by fellow newcomers to the Criss Cross label, Ben Wendel
on tenor sax, and Eden Ladin
on piano, also both young musicians who have been steadily gaining attention on the New York scene. Filling out the band are Criss Cross veterans, Joe Sanders
on bass and Eric Harland
on drums, giving the group a strong rhythmic foundation.
After the fanfare-like intro, the group begins with the gently grooving Ladin original, "Jacob and the Angel." Sanders also contributes an original tune to the album, "Joy and Sorrow," which starts out as a gentle ballad and continues to build and crescendo right up to it's final climactic seconds. Ladin's and Sanders's original tunes prove to be good choices for inclusion on this album as they showcase both Dizack's unique tone and the group's strong chemistry and attention to dynamics.
Dizack's original tunes are diverse and captivating, from the driving swing of "Take Me With You," to the lilting groove of "Single Soul." "Twins of a Gazelle" is a lively tune that leads the group into some of their best solos and interplay on the album. Dizack chose to record "Book of Stones" as a trio with just Sanders and Harland, and they masterfully lay down the groove. Harland never fails to keep the tune interesting and supports his Dizack and Sanders perfectly, but never overplaying.
The remaining two original tunes serve as a nice way to wind the album down. "It's Not Just in Some of Us" is an intense piece and gives Dizack and Ladin a good chance to show off their soloing skills. "Sasha Anne" is a delicate and soulful ballad, starting as a duet between Ladin and Dizack before the whole band joins in to bring it to it's joyous conclusion.
The remaining two tunes on the album are thoughtful takes on standards and are elegant nods to the past. Dizack and Sanders give us a duet version of Lionel Loueke's "Benny's Tune," which is short, but tasteful. The duet has a lovely intimate quality and Dizack's and Sanders's warm tones on their respective instruments were perfectly recorded at Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn. The album closes with an even more intimate take on Ellington's classic "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good." Dizack chooses to play the ballad a cappella, letting his tasteful phrasing and elegant tone do the talking.
"Single Soul" is a strong addition to this young trumpet player's growing portfolio, and it shows that he has versatility, talent, and taste. In 2007, Downbeat Magazine named Dizack as one of "25 Trumpet Players for the Future." On "Single Soul" Dizack proves that "the future" is here and that he is one of the strongest young trumpet players on the scene today.