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Ryan Kisor Quintet: This is Ryan

Judith Insell By

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This is Ryan continues to confirm that trumpeter Ryan Kisor is more than a "young lion, a label he received after winning the Thelonious Monk Competition back in 1990. At the still young age of 32, he is continuing in the tradition of the modal-minded trumpet players who preceded him, sounding like he comes from the direct lineage of the great Woody Shaw. His excellent trumpet technique, especially clear in the upper register, makes possible seamless solo lines. This is Ryan features compositions by three major trumpet players from the '50s-60s: Kenny Dorham's "Una Mas, Don Cherry's "Art Deco and Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma. The CD also includes four solid Kisor originals: "Waiting for Brown, a hard driving modal tune; "Maiden Lane, a smooth flowing ballad; "Dirty Ernie, a hard swinger; and "Solitaire," a swinging waltz.

The musicians Kisor has assembled—Grant Stewart (tenor sax), Peter Zak (piano), John Webber (bass) and Jason Brown (drums)—are all well versed in the hard bop and modal traditions, and the recording overall has the old-school feel of the great quintets of the '60s. As a support system Stewart, Zak, Webber and Brown all deliver, though at times I desired a more adventurous interaction between the members of the ensemble.

The standout track is the classic "You and the Night and the Music. Kisor takes the well-known melody and embellishes it, changing some notes in the head to give the tune a modal twist, and later takes a very exciting solo. "Con Alma also deserves recognition for the silky smooth interaction of the trumpet and tenor sax lines in the arrangement.

Track Listing: Waiting for Ernie; You and the Night and the Music; Una Mas; Maiden Lane; Dirty Ernie; Art Deco; Con Alma; Solitaire.

Personnel: Ryan Kisor: trumpet; Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; Peter Zak: piano; John Webber: bass; Jason Brown: drums.

Title: This is Ryan | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Videoarts Music Inc.


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