All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Walt Weiskopf: Overdrive

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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 framework of a popular touring act, there still is plenty of space for Weiskopf to exert himself musically. Although it's been four long years since his last Criss Cross date, See the Pyramid, Weiskopf has fortunately joined the fold at Posi-Tone and his debut for the label is yet another singular release in his distinguished catalog.

Weiskopf is a talented improviser, but his real strengths have also always come in his compositional genius. This is no less the case with this new effort. And like his greatest work, Weiskopf always sounds best when he fills his ensembles with other lead voices. That signature blend of angular melodies is there at the get-go of "The Path is Narrow," with Weiskopf's tenor speaking in tandem with Yotam Silberstein's guitar. The upbeat vibe of "Like Mike" trades the guitar unison with the vibes of Behn Gillece, reminding one of the great teaming of Weiskopf and Joe Locke on the Criss Cross set Anytown. During his solo, the tenor saxophonist steams forward with a rush of quicksilver ideas that seem to be bursting at the seams. Then the tempo switches to cut time after a restating of the theme, leading to some collective interplay between Weiskopf and Silberstein.

Providing the perfect bookend to complement the previously penned "Song for My Mother," the lovely "Waltz for Dad" includes a nice melodic hook at the end of the leading phrase. Drummer Donald Edwards a mainstay of the Weiskopf fold for the past several albums, boots things along nicely as pianist Peter Zak makes his own piquant statement with sly backing lines provides by Weiskopf and Gillece.

While Weiskopf is a master of those barn burning tempos, his solo statement on the ballad "Jewel and a Flower" uses space and a breathy attack that suits the mood to a tee. He also takes his time and allows the forward momentum to guide his statements on a gorgeous reworking of Michel Legrand's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"

Over the course of the ten tracks heard here, interest never wanes because Weiskopf so artfully varies his material. His melodies are strong declarations on their own and not just used as a launching pad for the solos. And speaking of solos, they are divided up so as to offer diversity as well, not just the same string of statements from one tune to the next. In fact, the use of collective duet improvisations at the close of several pieces is a stimulating change of pace. It all adds up to yet another strong statement that sits well among Weiskopf's already heady catalog; one that listeners miss at their own peril.

Track Listing: The Path Is Narrow; Like Mike; Jewel And A Flower; Night Vision; Overdrive; Waltz For Dad; Four Horsemen; Midwinter Night's Dream; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?; No Biz.

Personnel: Walt Weiskopf:tenor saxophone; Behn Gillece: vibraphone; Yotam Silberstein: guitar; Peter Zak: piano; David Wong: bass; Donald Edwards: drums.

Title: Overdrive | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

In Pictures
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Fountain Of Youth

Fountain Of Youth

Posi-Tone Records
2017

buy
The Way You Say It

The Way You Say It

Posi-Tone Records
2016

buy
Open Road

Open Road

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
Overdrive

Overdrive

Posi-Tone Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Spavati, Mozda Sanjati" CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Some Other Time/Slow Café" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time/Slow Café
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Planktonic Finales" CD/LP/Track Review Planktonic Finales
by John Sharpe
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Red Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Red Planet
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 2, 2018
Read "Ran Do" CD/LP/Track Review Ran Do
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "Long Story Short" CD/LP/Track Review Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018