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 of this music, one could say that five more charts have been added to the repertoire of quintet musicsuch is the power of their creativity and improvisation.
Weiss is in great company throughout. Tenor saxophonist JD Allen
is spectacular. His hard, bluesy Detroit voice is the nearest thing to the raw, cutting edge of what might easily be the hottest horn on any given night. Allen is sophisticated and plays with unusual intonation, extending his bronzy multi-textured voice into short, curvilinear phrases, and lines that flip and flop as he exhales in hot bursts. His solos are marked by brevity of statement: all muscle and no fat on bone. Like a pugilist in the prime of his existence, he tosses them out in quick jabs and thrusts and flashy rising upper cuts. Allen might follow on the knife-edge of guitarist Nir Felder
's soloswhipped out of his electric axe like thunderbolts of steelor he might ride shotgun with Weiss, who plays with brassy elegance.
Both trumpeter and saxophonist visit musical places that are fresh and imaginative. Most times they are unstoppable, as incessant as waves on an ocean of sound beating on far away shores or waking up the cognoscenti and the curious alike with their soulful leaping- -one over the other over the other again. This endless harmonic and rhythmic invention is reminiscent of the music of Steve Coleman
. Like the alto saxophonist, Weiss and Allen are constantly inventing.
The glue that binds these breathtaking flights of fancy is the bass and drums of Matt Clohesy
and Jamire Williams
. Throughout the music's ebb and flow and rising flood there is the sense that an excited heart is beating, kept alive and well by the bassist and drummer's rhythmic intensity. Every once in a while a bomb is thrown by Willaims on his bass drum, or a series of rapid double stops punctuate the rapid walk-and-run of Clohesy's trademark rhythmic strut. These men help mold the music into what is easily one of the most earsplitting, heartwarming sets in live music.
Personnel: David Weiss: trumpet; J.D. Allen: tenor saxophone; Nir Felder; guitar; Matt Clohesy: bass;
Jamire Williams: drums.