Since making his first two records on the independent Iris label back in the early '90s, Walt Weiskopf has staked a claim as one of the most advanced and iconic tenor saxophonists in jazz. However, even as he went on to record one great record after another for Criss Cross beginning in 1993, Weiskopf remained under the radar of most listeners and seldom even registered on most critics polls. Over the past several years his profile has risen via regular road work with the group Steely Dan. What is great about this particular role is that within the ...read more
Here's a proposition for anyone who is about to plunk down their hard earned dollars on Steely Dan's Jamalot Ever After Tour. For a mere fraction of the cost of a ticket you can invest in a copy of Overdrive, the recently released set of original music by Walt Weiskopf, the band's longtime tenor saxophonist. A viable alternative to the pleasures of SD's warhorses, the disc has a greatest hits" vibe of its own. It's a composite of the dozen or so records under his leadership released over the past twenty-five years. Weiskopf, who often uses down time during SD's ...read more
After a string of well-received dates on the Criss Cross imprint, and a one-off for the Capri label, tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf arrives at Posi-Tone with this pleasing sextet date. The music on Overdrive is all original, save for the penultimately-placed cover of Michel Legrand's What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?," and it affirms Weiskopf's commitment to (mostly) high energy, no-nonsense jazz. With saxophone, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums, this band can be looked at from two different angles: It's a saxophone-fronted group with an expanded rhythm section, but it's also an outfit ...read more
A technician with the tenor saxophone, when Walt Weiskopf plays, it's clear that it's him; his voice is sharp, crisp and totally unique. His style is dynamic and comparable, in some respects, to the late jazz icon, Stan Getz.. On Walt Weiskopf: Quartet Live, the tenor saxophonist leads his quartet on what happens to be his very first live recording documenting a concert at the University of South Carolina, celebrating the final night of the bi-annual North American Saxophone Alliance convention. This recording would not have happened if it were not for the untimely death of drummer Tony Reedus--to whom ...read more
Besides being the tenor man onstage with Steely Dan, Walt Weiskopf is first and foremost a prolific solo artist. With over 15 critically acclaimed recordings as a leader, Walt is not one to rest on laurels collected over the course of years, playing alongside legends such as Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. As one of jazz music's foremost post-Coltrane voices on the saxophone, Weiskopf's tenor sounds uniquely vocal, almost wailing, and capable of burning a hole in the side of an armored truck. Like Coltrane, Weiskopf boasts virtuosic command of the instrument as evidenced ...read more
Walt Weiskopf The Turning Point Cafe Piermont, NY March 30, 2009
Forty-five minutes prior to starting time at The Turning Point Cafe, Walt Weiskopf's tenor saxophone stood alone like a statute atop a table right next to the bandstand. Weiskopf is best known for ten recordings as a leader on the Criss Cross Jazz imprint which feature his compositions played by a cohort of some of New York City's significant mainstream players. The big horn's iconic positioning in the club was a sign that the night's performance would be something different. The listener ...read more
Most of us find that there are certain musicians who speak to us through their music in a profound way that makes for a special connection. These are the artists who find a prominent space in our collections because we continuously seek out all of their current musical endeavors. For this reviewer, saxophonist Walt Weiskopf has always been a musician to watch. Not to take anything away from other jazz saxophonists, but Weiskopf's musical persona is the complete package. He has an identifiable sound, chops aplenty, great ideas, and a strong emotional base that is often absent in other technically ...read more
Despite the fact that his name doesn't show up on magazine polls and is equally scarce among those few jazz guide books on the market, make no mistake about the fact that Walt Weiskopf is easily one of the most mature and fully individualistic saxophonists and composers to come along in the last ten to fifteen years. Possibly because of the fact that he chooses to work within the mainstream tradition and record for the small Dutch-based Criss Cross Jazz label, Weiskopf is not widely known among everyday jazz circles, but it seems that those who have sampled his brilliance ...read more
Despite the fact that his name doesn’t show up on magazine polls and is equally scarce among those few jazz guide books on the market, make no mistake about the fact that Walt Weiskopf is easily one of the most mature and fully individualistic saxophonists and composers to come along in the last 10 years. Possibly because of the fact that he chooses to work within the mainstream tradition (read: not outlandish enough to appeal to the avant hipsters) and record for the small Dutch-based Criss Cross Jazz label, Weiskopf is not widely known among everyday jazz circles, but it ...read more
It’s very fitting that in the liner notes to saxophonist and composer Walt Weiskopf’s sixth set as a leader for Criss Cross, writer Bill Milkowski comments on the lack of information or publicity available to the general jazz public on the intrinsic worth of Weiskopf. Whole heartedly concurring, this reviewer has felt that the world has been too long asleep on Weiskopf’s efforts to expand the jazz tradition in a way that maintains conventions but also allows for individual expression to reign supreme. And maybe it’s because Weiskopf’s art is not flashy in the radical sense (you won’t find electronics, ...read more
On his sixth outing for the Criss Cross label, Walt Weiskopf delivers a stunning recording, an artistic achievement of the highest order. Weiskopf has developed his talents as a composer, arranger, and tenor saxophonist to the extent that each aspect demands the listener’s attention, thus making repeated listening an adventure and a pleasure. In addition, he has assembled a formidable, nine-piece ensemble of peers (several of whom have worked with him on other projects) who play his music with spirit and precision, as well as offering strong, individual solo voices.
Weiskopf’s compositions are logical but not predictable. He composes memorable ...read more
Although popularity and critics polls speak much to the contrary, saxophonist and composer Walt Weiskopf is one of the most artistic and exceptional jazz musicians around. That he's gone as long as he has without receiving much notice by the jazz press or public at large is undeniably inexplicable. This fact is made even more confounding when one considers that the cerebral and explorative style he has pursued has made other men, such as Joe Lovano and Chris Potter, household names. But it should come to no surprise that while the autonomy allowed him by working for the small Dutch ...read more
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