Michael Weiss: Soul Journey (2003)
The septet takes a very mainstream approacha three horn front line (trombone/trumpet/alto sax) and a standard jazz rhythm section, plus an additional percussionist. An Art Blakey approach, though with a smoother sound, harmony more in the forefront of the proceedings, and glowing unison blowing. Ryan Kisor stands out on trumpet solos with his buttery smooth tone.
It's the songs, though, that star on Soul Journey. And though Weiss doesn't call attention to himself as an instrumentalist, additional listens reveal a richness to his own solos, a smooth and understated eloquence. He tells stories when it's his turn: structured mini-songsbeginning, middle, endslipped into the middle of the compositions. Another listen, and Steve Wilson's trombone solo on "La Ventana" sparkles. Then there's the very "jazzy" workout "The Cheshire Cat", where trumpeter Kisor sings a cool song before altoist Steve Wilson brings things back to a simmer.
A standout effort by Michael Weiss and crew.
Visit Sintra Records at www.sintrarecords.com and Michael Weiss at www.michaelweiss.info .
Track Listing: Optimism, El Camino, Soul Journey, Orient Express, Atlantis, The Prophecy, The Cheshire Cat, La Ventana, Second Thoughts
Personnel: Michael Weiss, piano, Fender Rhodes; Steve Wilson, alto sax; Ryan Kisor, trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis, trombone; Paul Gill, bass; Joe Farnsworth, drums; Danile Sadownick, percussion
Record Label: Sintra Records