Criss Cross Jazz
There's a quiet intensity about Ryan Kisor's latest, The Dream (Criss Cross). While the CD doesn't push many technical or stylistic envelopes, the trumpet man from Sioux City takes a creative step forward backed by a taking-care-of-business rhythm section including pianist Peter Zak, bassist John Webber and drummer Willie Jones III. Kisor plays long lines full of twists and turns on "Minor Ordeal," using interesting altered chords and substitutions without harsh dissonance. While Booker Little inspires his harmonic sophistication, Kisor has his own sound; a gorgeous, glowing tone and vibrato that caresses the bittersweet melody of "I Should Care." On "Deception," a bebop romp through the changes of "Cherokee," a cup-muted Kisor and colleagues sound relaxed even at such a fast tempo. They play out on "Panic Attack," and right down the middle on the finger-popping "Bert's Blues." For the finale, Kisor pays homage to Dizzy Gillespie with the jaunty calypso "Fiesta Mojo," featuring special appearances by tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and percussionist Renato Thomas.