Recent listening, current

Sunday, September 8, 2013

135. Ryan Kisor / Minor Mutiny (1992)

The cover, which apes Chet Baker, first grabbed me. I saw a young guy, similar features, sport coat, trumpet, and dramatic lighting. I thought, okay, let's try this out. The second thing, first hearing then reading, was the personnel including Ravi Coltrane, Lonnie Plaxico, Michael Cain, and either Jeff Siegel or producer Jack DeJohnette on drums. It's a sweet debut, a sort of double debut if you count Siegel. I was immediately swept up by the beautifully lonesome "One For Miles," which evokes Davis' "Basin Street Blues" from Seven Steps to Heaven. Kisor pays through the mute and it's a spot on, glowing tribute. My reaction was, "If this guy doesn't sound like Miles!" Yet in spite of Kisor's obvious reverence for the master, the performance isn't cliche and the style is all his own. Then there's the work by Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano. His tone and intonation on soprano are exemplary and the choruses take possibly the most unique voice in the group. Juxtaposition of drummers Siegel and DeJohnette do not ruin the continuity. Siegel is fantastic, playing responsively in intricate patterns all around the beat, and doesn't suffer for following an experienced musician like DeJohnette. You'll find that Siegel's playing even starts the melancholy album (there is some great mood on this disc), and he is only supplanted by DeJohnette on two tracks.

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