Carl Saunders is one of the great trumpeters in jazz today. His strong sound, wide range (playing lead trumpet with Bill Holman's orchestra), very long flowing lines full of rapid but logical notes, and ability to think fast makes him a potent force in any setting. Although he is still drastically underrated, particularly on the East Coast, Saunders' recent series of recordings (including holding his own with Phil Woods) is finally resulting in him getting some recognition. Can You Dig Being Dug is a quartet set with pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Dave Stone, and drummer Santo Savino that was recorded live in 2003. Although the rhythm section is stimulating and swinging, Saunders is the star throughout. He rips into a set of standards and mostly basic originals (of which "What Can I Say" is well worth catching on), playing one stunning improvisation after another. The music is all straight-ahead, even the medium-fast "One Note Samba," and Saunders never seems to run out of ideas even during his lengthier solos. This is outstanding music that is highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow