Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Carl Saunders: Can You Dig Being Dug?

If neurologists are correct about the right brain being creative and the left practical, it would be reasonable to conclude that a trumpet player whose left brain is dominant will be a lead player and one whose right brain is dominant will be an improvising soloist. If the sides of a trumpeter’s brain are in balance and he plays powerhouse lead and solos at a high level of creativity, it would be reasonable to conclude that he is Carl Saunders.

During all of the years that he played lead in Las Vegas show bands and then with Bill Holman, Bob Florence and Gerald Wilson, Saunders’ solo ability was mostly under wraps. Not until Out of the Blue, his 1995 recording debut as a leader, did it emerge fully. On four albums since, he has astonished listeners with the inventiveness of his solo work. On this CD, with pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Dave Stone and drummer Santo Savino, Saunders’ flow of creative ideas and subtlety of expression are in balance with his phenomenal technique. The repertoire includes standards and several substantial Saunders compositions. The rhythm section is superb. Jacob establishes again why he is one of the most admired pianists of the day.

Originally Published