The phrase “end of an era” suggests a time for mourning, a sense of finality and closure. Where one era ends another inevitably begins, however, so it’s also a time for celebration and rebirth.
On his second CD, End of an Era, trumpet player/composer Philip Dizack captures both of those moods in a collection rife with overflowing emotions and profound impact. Through Dizack’s voice, the grand tragedy of natural disaster and the intimate melancholy of personal loss find common ground in the universally shared experience of human existence.
Sharing those experiences with Dizack on the CD are two stellar line-ups, each bringing a distinct approach to the trumpeter’sexpressive compositions. The first is composed of musicians who, for the most part, share a long history with Dizack: Joe Sanders and Dizack grew up together in Milwaukee, while keyboardist Sam Harris is a classmate from the Manhattan School of Music. Saxophonist Jake Saslow is a frequent collaborator, and while drummer Justin Brown is a more recent acquaintance, he gels perfectly with this ensemble.
The remainder of the disc features keyboardist Aaron Parks, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Kendrick Scott, a scintillating combination that, with the exception of Oh, Dizack invited purely on their incredible reputations. “They have this ability to be extraordinarily expressive and extremely natural,” Dizack says of this second line-up. “With them, the music is effortless.” Using two separate ensembles, Dizack says, boldly represents the dichotomy between beginning and end, inner emotions and outward communication that he wanted to reflect throughout the CD. The first line-up, he says, “is like the internal struggle, the constant battle within yourself. The second is like an outpouring of emotion. So you have those two sides to balance the record.”
Dizack wanted to evoke feelings in his listeners through the direct clarity of his writing and playing. “I really wanted to have that emotional rawness that I feel brings the important essence of life, that makes life exciting,” he says. “It keeps things from getting stale, it’s what people are passionate about. That’s where I’m coming from on the record and in general when I play.”