Ezra Weiss: Get Happy (2007)
The punchy post-bop setting of "It's You Or No One features Roberge powered by the leader's driving piano. Samantha Grabler passionately sings "Blue Room in a tantalizing waltz setting, while Weiss plays "Get Happy as a campy stride miniature with a good bit of humor. He also transforms the often mundane "You'll Never Walk Alone into a spacious trio arrangement. His haunting treatment of the ballad "Once Upon a Time (from the obscure 1962 musical All American) incorporates pianist Bill Evans' "Peace Piece in its introduction and offers a stunning vocal by Heidi Krenn.
The originals are, for the most part, of equal merit. Weiss utilizes both Hunter and Roberge for his pensive, multi-faceted "For Heather," while Hart is showcased in the lush, bittersweet ballad "What I Can Never Say." When Weiss switches to electric piano, the CD loses its focus just a bit. The funky "Run Under the Fountain is a rather generic vocal vehicle, though the loping closer "Don't Need No Ticket (with Louis and Murchison) does get the show back on the road.
Track Listing: For Heather; Once Upon A Time; It's You Or No One; What I Can Never Say; Blue Room; Get Happy, You'll Never Walk Alone; He Loves and She Loves; Run Under the Fountain; Don't Need No Ticket.
Personnel: Ezra Weiss: piano, Rhodes (9, 10); Kelly Roberge: tenor saxophone (1, 2, 7, 8); Andy Hunter: trombone (1); Corcoran Holt: bass (1-5, 7-10); Jason Brown: drums (1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10); Heidi Krenn: voice (2); Billy Hart: drums (3, 5, 8); Antonio Hart: alto sax (4); Samantha Grabler: voice (5); Elif Caglar: voice (9); Kevin Louis: trumpet (10); Andrae Murchison: trombone (10).
Record Label: Roark Records