Ryan Kisor

Point of Arrival

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In contrast to the organ-driven quartet of Battle Cry, Kisor's second Criss Cross release features a standard horn-piano-bass-drums format. The set includes three standards, and each band member also contributes a tune. Bassist John Webber contributes two, in fact: a hardbop blues, "Smoke Signal," and a finely wrought ballad, "The Lonely Hour." Pianist Peter Zak's entry is "Better Late Than Never," an uptempo workout. Drummer Willie Jones III, on loan from Roy Hargrove's band, weighs in with a pretty waltz, "Jessica's Theme." Kisor's "Point of Arrival," a hard-hitting 3/4 swing tune, kicks the album off.

The music is strictly traditional neo-bop, but Kisor, only 25 at the time of the recording, displays formidable trumpet technique, a remarkably mature tone, and an impressive arsenal of ideas. He's also selfless enough to feature his brother Justin, a 21-year-old aspiring trumpet player himself. The younger Kisor wrote track number eight, a minor blues called "Sir Lancelot," and he takes the first solo. While he doesn't exactly have his brother's seasoned attack, he does a fine job nonetheless.

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