They could make a movie about the twists in Mort Weiss's life. The story certainly seems like something Hollywood might come up with: young man has love of music and embarks on professional career, grows tired of life on the road and retires, resumes his career after a thirty year sabbatical. Everyone loves happy endings and The Three of Us
, the latest offering from Weiss, is certainly a reason for gladness.
The Three of Us is an intimate trio effort in which clarinetist Weiss is ably supported by Ron Escheté on seven-string guitar and Dave Carpenter on bass. The three stretch out on nine classics, playing with an easy, casual rapport. Escheté, who joined Weiss on his two previous albums, shines throughout, offering lush chords to thicken the sound and act as a cushy middle layer between clarinet and bass.
It's probably safe to say that the clarinet has fallen out of style on recent jazz recordings, but Weiss's take on "You Go To My Head" should have listeners lamenting that fact. He plays with a languorous breathiness that recalls Stan Getz, coupled with the whimsical vulnerability that is the hallmark of the long black horn. The performance has the effect of running into an old friend with whom you've lost touch, but are at a loss to explain why.
The Three of Us is a warm and welcoming disc. Here's hoping that it is just one of many in a long-delayed but promising career.