All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

276

Ryan Kisor: The Usual Suspects

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter Ryan Kisor is only 25 but The Usual Suspects is already his fourth album as a leader. He's paid his dues with the Mingus Big Band, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Pat Metheny and Gerry Mulligan and he holds his own with other such so-called young lions as Wallace Roney, Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton. But for his estimable talents, he's a bit too devoted to the sounds of the past.

Despite its solid, straight-ahead swing, the "usual suspects" of the title are Blue Note trumpet stars Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd and, most especially, Lee Morgan. Kisor's clean phrasing and well-thought patterns add a more contemporary polish, though, and he boasts a sound that matches his good looks: romantic, intelligent and sophisticated; a sort of GQ jazz.

Kisor breezes easily through the familiar Blue Note style program of catchy post-bop ("The Usual Suspects," "Hoofin"), swinging waltz themes ("Sheeryn's Waltz") and romantic standards ("Never Let Me Go," "I've Never Been In Love Before"). His rhythm section includes Peter Zak (equal parts Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock and Harold Mabern), the worth-watching Fable Records house bassist John Webber and young drummer Willie Jones III.

They sound tight with each other, comfortable with their program and producer Don Mikkelsen's sterling production captures it beautifully. Alfred Lion would probably have had these four loosen their ties and play in the dirt a little more. But Ryan Kisor can probably do whatever he wants and still sound good. The Usual Suspects sounds pretty good too, but it promises even more.

Track Listing: The Usual Suspects; Sheeryn's Waltz; Nobody Else But Me; M.H.D.; Never Let Me Go; Hoofin' Below The Rim; I've Never Been In Love Before.

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

Title: The Usual Suspects | Year Released: 1999

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Jam Session, Vol. 17

Songlines Recordings
2006

buy
This is Ryan

This is Ryan

Videoarts Music Inc.
2006

buy
Awakening

Awakening

Criss Cross
2003

buy
 

Jam Session, Vol. 8

Songlines Recordings
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Dawn CD/LP/Track Review
Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Life Of CD/LP/Track Review
Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun CD/LP/Track Review
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Enso CD/LP/Track Review
Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Let Your Light Shine On CD/LP/Track Review
Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Fresh Air Project" CD/LP/Track Review Fresh Air Project
by Jerry D'Souza
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Traveler" CD/LP/Track Review Traveler
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by John Sharpe
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "Still Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Still Motion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "The Groove Cubed" CD/LP/Track Review The Groove Cubed
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 29, 2017