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by Dan Bilawsky
The Wee Trio delivered quite a bit of variety over the course of its first four albums. The first two--Capitol Diner, Vol. I (Bionic Records, 2008) and Capitol Diner, Vol. II: Animal Style (Bionic Records, 2010)--established the musical ground and syntax that are part and parcel of this three-way partnership; Ashes To Ashes: A David Bowie Intraspective (Bionic Record, 2012) demonstrated much of what can be done to mutate and honor David Bowie's music, almost foretelling the growth of Bowie-inflected ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Vibraphonist James Westfall participated with several New Orleans-based musicians to cover the music of pop icon David Bowie and took the concept further by using this premise for The Wee Trio's third album. The band projects youthful vigor along the lines of The Bad Plus and Medeski, Martin & Wood; firmly rooted in the jazz vernacular, the trio adheres to Bowie's famous melodies and song forms, all enacted with jazzy variations and plentiful doses of improvisation. 1984" is ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
Based loosely in New York, The Wee Trio's origins form a cross-section of the United States, with drummer Jared Schonig from Los Angeles, vibraphonist James Westfall living in New Orleans and bassist Dan Loomis hailing from St. Louis. Notwithstanding that there isn't an abundance of vibraphone-centered recordings such as Joe Locke's For the Love of You (E1 Music, 2010) and Stefon Harris' Urbanus (Concord Music Group, 2009), The Wee Trio holds high the mallet-based banner in good form, showing itself ...read more
by Troy Collins
Jazz has a long history of up and coming musicians attempting to incorporate the popular music of their time into the standard repertoire. Some acts have made such ideology their calling card. For example, both the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Sex Mob regularly include contemporary pop songs in their set lists. As such, the cover of Nirvana's early underground hit About a Girl" (complete with hyper speed Rhapsody in Blue" interjections) that opens the Wee Trio's debut album Capitol ...read more
by J Hunter
"Lightning in a bottle" is an excellent metaphor for The Wee Trio's Capitol Diner Vol. 1, given how the music crackles like high-tension wires in a rainstorm. But it's the level of electricity that is the surprise. On its face, TWT's instrumental makeup--vibes with a rhythm section--doesn't seem to lend itself to any kind of aggressive musical behavior. That's an assumption and, like most assumptions, it's dead wrong.
James Westfall's disquieting opening to Kurt Cobain's About a Girl" is the ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
Given the vast amount of new releases these days, much of recorded jazz turns out formulaic. While following in the footsteps of forerunners and standards of the past, many musicians are hard pressed to create their own identities. But younger players like vibraphonist James Westfall exhibit potential in conveying their own ideas. An active musician in New York, Westfall (who's in his twenties) has had the opportunity of studying and playing with a number of iconic jazz ...read more