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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss: When Words Fail

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"Where words fail, music speaks." Jana Herzen, head of Motema Music, shared this Hans Christian Anderson quote with David Weiss after the trumpeter had already titled his new record; the sentiment of that statement just happens to perfectly connect with this album. In 2013, loss seemed to hover around Weiss, his friends, and the jazz community at large. So, when faced with the cruel realities of life and death, Weiss did what any artist of great character and strength would do: he let his music speak his feelings. When Words Fail is a tribute album, but better ...

INTERVIEWS

David Weiss: In Celebration of Endangered Species

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David Weiss and his mini big band of jazz chameleons are a ready example of how to concentrate at OCD levels to perfect musical things of beauty that stand the test of time, repeatedly. Many have focused a hell of a lot more than 10,000 hours to cultivate this sound, and some have overcome myriad adversities to present it. Playing the music of Wayne Shorter, in any way other than that of Wayne Shorter might burn a few eyebrows in the tradition--this band knows what it means to be trailblazers and these arrangements are for BIG sounds to highlight Shorter's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss: Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter

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A solid entry in the ongoing resurgence of focus on Wayne Shorter's music, David Weiss' Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter is immediately notable for the all-star cast that comprises the 12-piece ensemble and the fact that it was recorded live, enabling the group to interact freely and deliver a potent mix of precision and vibrant energy.Timed to coincide with Shorter's 80th birthday, the album samples music from the full range of Shorter's career, providing an overview of the legendary composers many contributions. Part homage and part experiment, the album's six selections provide a well-executed tour covering ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss & Point Of Departure: Venture Inward

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Fans of trumpeter David Weiss may be a bit confused when they take a look at this album. At quick glance, it reads like a re-tread of Weiss' Snuck In (Sunnyside, 2010), which has a near-identical line-up playing a near-identical program, but there's a good reason for that: both albums were actually recorded a day apart in completely different environments. Snuck In--and companion piece Snuck Out (Sunnyside, 2011)--capture Weiss' Point Of Departure band (mostly) live at New York's Jazz Standard on March 25, 2008; The majority of Venture Inward's tracks were recorded in a studio a day earlier.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss & Point Of Departure: Venture Inward

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If music can be described as either masculine or feminine, then recordings by trumpeter David Weiss and his Point of Departure quintet are simply testosteronic. Built upon the legacy of trumpeter Miles Davis' second great quintet and saxophonist Billy Harper's Black Saint inheritance, Weiss presents dexterous arrangements of muscular, second wave hard bop music.This studio session, Venture Inward, was recorded in 2008, one day before the stunning live date at the Jazz Standard, released as Snuck In (Sunnyside, 2010) and Snuck Out (Sunnyside, 2011), with follow-up pieces made the following June for all three releases.While duplicating ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss and Point of Departure: Snuck Out

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Point of Departure: from where a takeoff ensues. The name of this ensemble is most appropriate when it comes to the performances by this extraordinary group of musicians. Snuck Out presents the companion set of a memorable date recorded on March 25, 2008 that produced Snuck In (Sunnyside, 2010). The same intense energy pervades both recording and makes each essential listening. Once again, trumpeter David Weiss does not contribute much in the way of original work for this set, but the manner in which he reinvents some of the classic compositions of the 20th Century is awe-inspiring. In their reworking ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss & Point Of Departure: Snuck In

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Trumpeter David Weiss was way ahead of his time when he brought together a group of forward-thinking musician-composers to form the New Jazz Composers Octet in 1996. This group--and the writing that was born from within its ranks--received positive critical response from the get-go, and foreshadowed the rise in collective-type situations throughout the jazz community. While Weiss' work within that group helped to mark him as a rising star in the world of jazz composition, his selfless contributions to the last chapter of trumpet great Freddie Hubbard's career brought him even greater attention. While Hubbard was well past his finest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss and Point of Departure: Snuck In

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The term “hipster," although appropriated to everyday use from slang and rarely used today, has a special connotation in music--especially the jazz idiom. It is a dusky, almost nocturnal word, and it has made way for new epithets that stream from rap and hip-hop, but no matter what it describes, it's always someone with certain, unmistakable contemporariness. Having completely absorbed the history of his/her art, an artist begins to live in a novel way, personifying it with a swaggering attitude. Trumpeter David Weiss and tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen each personify the modern hipster in their own special way, bringing '60s ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss & Point of Departure: Snuck In

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A keeper of the flame, but a resolute practitioner of forward thinking music, David Weiss has been active for more than twenty years in New York. His horn swings with élan, representing modern post-bop trumpeting whether playing in Charles Tolliver's Big Band, producing other recordings (Robert Glasper, Jeremy Pelt and Marcus Strickland), or at the helm of firebrands such as (Myron Walden, Jimmy Greene, and Dwayne Burno) in his New Jazz Composers Octet. Weiss is deep in this game and his abilities speak loud and clear. His new outlet comes in the form of a live document ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Music of Art Blakey: 90th Birthday Celebration at the Iridium, NYC

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Golden Boy: The Music of Art Blakey--90th Birthday Celebration David Weiss and 11 Musicians The Iridium Jazz Club New York, New York December 5, 2009

The great drummer and long-standing band leader Art Blakey would have celebrated his 90th birthday this past October. In honor of that event, trumpeter, composer and arranger David Weiss assembled a cast of excellent young and not so young musicians to pay tribute to the great master. Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, the quintessential hard bop group, were known for their hard swinging blues and funk ...

INTERVIEWS

David Weiss: Writin', Arrangin' and Playin'

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David Weiss has been on the New York scene for a while now, writing and arranging, producing albums, organizing an outstanding octet. He's known for all that. He also plays the trumpet. Quite well, in fact. Although he's played with the likes of Jaki Byard, Frank Foster, Craig Handy, Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath and a great many others, people may come to know this more via a new group the ever-busy Weiss has put together. For Weiss, its time to play more horn. He's not disregarding other activities, because his name first got around because of his composing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss: The Mirror

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Stills from the film Stalker, by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, decorate the cover of the second album from trumpeter David Weiss; and the film also lends its title to the first and most compelling track on the disc. Perhaps wisely, Weiss refrains from the otherwise obvious choice of using it for the album title as well--probably the idea of seeing all those CD spines with “David Weiss - Stalker on them didn't seem so appealing--choosing instead the title of another Tarkovsky film and the second track, The Mirror. Equally portentous Tarkovsky titles grace two other Weiss compositions, “Nostalghia [sic] and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss: The Mirror

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The ability to create music that is intellectually provocative and eminently approachable is a challenge to which many artists aspire but relatively few manage to succeed. Trumpeter Davis Weiss has certainly had the opportunity to explore both sides of the equation. In high demand over the past decade, he has worked with artists including Bob Belden, Freddie Hubbard and Tom Harrell in capacities involving performance, arrangement and transcription. But it has only been since his '01 début as a leader, Breathing Room , that he has emerged as a composer and bandleader of significance.

Now with The Mirror , he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Weiss: The Mirror

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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 ...



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