255

Mort Weiss: Mort Weiss Meets Bill Cunliffe

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Mort Weiss: Mort Weiss Meets Bill Cunliffe If it is a Mort Weiss recording, bebop cannot be very far away. Competent bop clarinetists are as scarce as hen's teeth, the most critically accepted being Tony Scott, Buddy DeFranco and Weiss. Weiss' most recent recordings, Mort Weiss Meets Sam Most (SMS Jazz, 2006) and B3 and Me (SMS Jazz, 2006), reflect his solid bop reverence.

Weiss' Mort Weiss Meets Bill Cunliffe brings the clarinetist into orbit with pianist Bill Cunliffe, another jazz musician sympathetic to Weiss' bebop cause. Miles Davis' "The Theme" kicks off the disc, Weiss playing accurately, at a high velocity, seeming to take off when trading eights with drummer Roy McCurdy and Cunliffe. He reaches bop critical mass with Charlie Parker's "Dewey Square," he and Cunliffe demonstrating a swing synergy not possible in lesser talents.

While bop is his long coat, Weiss is equally adept in other earlier forms as demonstrated by his fine ballad playing on "Who Can I Turn To" and "The Gentle Rain." Weiss demonstrates his generosity by allowing writer (and here, clarinetist) Scott Yanow, a turn on Harry Smith's 1921 composition, "Sheik of Araby." "For Heavens Sake" and "Who Cares" are similarly well dispatched by Weiss and Cunliffe, who play with both certain speed and sensitivity.

Weiss hosts flautist Sam Most on "Indian Summer" and "The Gentle Rain." The wooden tone of the clarinet mixes well with the sharper and more metallic flute. The two instruments are well suited for these slower, more introspective pieces. Most's flute also adds a bit of the islands to the sound of the combo.

Included on this disc of otherwise very mainstream jazz is the song "Awake," penned by Weiss' grandsons Anthony and Brent. This is not jazz, but very serviceable alternative pop. Its inclusion is quirky save for "Readings of Kerouac I," narrated by Peter Marx, a hipsters dream. Mort Weiss Meets Bill Cunliffe arrives just in time that we not forget that the clarinet is a beautiful, if demanding, mistress.


Track Listing: The Theme; Who Can I Turn To; Indian Summer; The Gentle Rain; What is this Thing Called Love; Readings of Kerouac 1; My Ship; If I Should Lose You; The Sheik of Araby; Dewey Square; Awaken; For Heavens Sake; Who Cares.

Personnel: Mort Weiss: clarinet; Bill Cunliffe: piano; Sam Most: flutes; Chris Conner: bass; Roy McCurdy: drums; Ron Eschete: guitar; Scott Yanow: clarinet (9); Anthony Weiss: guitar (11).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: SMS Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Bombogenic" CD/LP/Track Review Bombogenic
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by James Nadal
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Akustik InventYours" CD/LP/Track Review Akustik InventYours
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!