The trumpet is the most difficult instrument to play (physically) requiring top notch chops and Dan Jacobs has been blessed in this regard many times over. This quartet has it all together in this fine album. The arrangements are fabulous and the solos are not only inventive but performed soulfully and pleasing to the ear.
Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil" is a jaunty excursion into the land of bop and Jacob's rendering is a lesson in swing. Gerard Hagen at the piano follows with an electric 'Powellesque' message. Dan Jacobs exhibits his facility in another turn at bat. Great tune done artfully with both a grace and drive.
The title tune "Play Song" opens with Hagen's beautiful gamboling epistle. Dan Jacobs Floogie weaves a magical spell emphasizing ideation and leaving no doubt that there is no thin gruel here. Nunez bass solo is both melodic and leaves no doubt that he is a gifted bassist with chops galore.
"Relaxing" strolls along happily and Jacobs' solo is a study in musicianship with a message most eloquent. There is a Miles like quality in Dan Jacobs playing but he has with more range and is certainly more creative than Miles Davis. An exciting piano directive is inspiring in it's inimitable Hagen style.
"Speak Low" is a haunting ballad artfully done by both Jacobs and Hagen in a manner most fitting that would certainly please the ear of Kurt Weill as it does your humble correspondent.
The tunes are carefully chosen, the player's superb, and that adds up to a recording that will please the ear of the jazz fan and the cognoscenti alike