David Weiss: The Mirror (2004)
This is the second album for trumpeter David Weiss on Fresh Sound New Talent, following his 2001 debut, Breathing Room. The songs are all originals, except for Kevin Hays' "Our Trip" and Wayne Shorter's "Mr. Jin." The album is structured into a sextet on most of the tracks and an octet on the final two selections. The sextet members are the same musicians who appear on Weiss' earlier album.
The album opens with "Stalker," and the group charges out in a Art Blakey Jazz Messengers mode with a fiery Weiss in the Clifford Brown-Lee Morgan-Freddie Hubbard tradition. Myron Walden's alto follows with considerable heat and toys with free jazz hints. Marcus Strickland's tenor solo is more melody-based. The title tune follows in a similar pattern, albeit in a mid-tempo groove. These opening tracks (21 minutes) set the pace for the remainder of the album, with plenty of space for solos.
There is a similarity on the first five tracks insofar as tunes and tempo, with the best solo work provided by Weiss and Xavier Davis' sturdy piano playing. No ballad is featured until the octet's appearance with "Love Letter to One Not Yet Met." The octet has a fuller and more layered sound with the addition of Craig Handy, Steve Davis, and Norbert Stochel. On the above track, Stochel plays bass clarinet; and on the finale, "Mr. Jin," all hands get a chance to shine.
Track Listing: Stalker, The Mirror, Nostalghia, Our Trip, The Sacrifice, Love Letter to One Not Yet Met, Mr.Jin.
Personnel: Tracks 1-5: David Weiss, trumpet; Myron Walden, alto saxophone; Marcus Strickland, tenor saxophone; Xavier Davis; piano, Dwayne Burno, bass; E.J. Strickland, drums. Tracks 6-7: Weiss; Steve Davis, trombone; Walden; Craig Handy, tenor saxophone; Norbert Stachel, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Xavier Davis; Burno; Nasheet Waits, drums.