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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mort Weiss: Mort Weiss is a Jazz Reality Show

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In recent years, life has thrown one obstacle after another at the feet of octogenarian clarinetist Mort Weiss. Divorce, loss of home, cancer, and hospitalization for a variety of other life-threatening ailments all came at him, threatening to kill his resolve and cut him down. But it would seem that practically nothing is capable of felling this forthright man and fine clarinetist. This album gives ample proof that there's a lot of musical life left in Mort Weiss.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mort Weiss: Mort Weiss is a Jazz Reality Show

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The informal definition of a Character is an “odd, eccentric, or unusual person." That is a bit disappointing in that “odd, eccentric, and unusual" more often than not may be pejorative. I prefer a “unique, memorable, or exceptional person." That said, it takes all six adjectives to adequately describe clarinetist Mort Weiss, who with this recording makes me eat a whole crow soufflé considering I was tempted to take him at his word that his last release, A Giant Step ...

THE MORT REPORT

Some Thoughts from the worlds greatest out of work Bebop clarinet player

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As many of you know, I've discontinued my column here at All About Jazz called “the Mort Report." See my final one (number 22), aptly named “My Final Mort Report." Clever, what? My reports were mostly autobiographical, as I kind of put myself on automatic pilot and opened the storage lockers of my brain to let the good times and the bad times roll. In retrospect, they sure as hell did. I read some awhile back, as I was kicking ...

THE MORT REPORT

My Final Report

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I stood there at graveside in the cold morning mist, collar of my dark blue, (but not too warm coat) turned up-in an effort to--ahh hell, I don't know--I saw it in a film noir flick once--let's just say--that it looked appropriate for the occasion--"the occasion"? The laying to rest of my mother-my mother of soul-of laughs-of tears (the very same that I'm drowning in as I write this bit of text about my mother who I never thought that ...

THE MORT REPORT

Septuagenarian is Not a Sexual Proclivity!

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Backstage at a concert I was doing a few years back, I heard the house announcer getting ready to bring me on, doing his thing. As I'm checking to see if my fly was zipped I heard the words (not in any particular order): jazz, clarinet, septuagenarian and Mort Weiss. I remember thinking--what the f**k? OK, I was asked to write something about a now-well-known little break I took from the scene for 40 years, and ...

THE MORT REPORT

Love... Sorrow... Jazz... and Death

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When we think of an art form, the tendency is to look in every and all directions except inward--wherein all answers lie, although shielded and hidden from one's self and any that choose to be within your sphere of understanding and passion. Why must it take years of self- study and searching the myriad avenues and paths that lead directly to one's innermost feelings of hope, love, fear and despair? And reaching that destination, only to find that every hope ...

THE MORT REPORT

A Brief History of Ragtime to 3/4 aka A Waltz Through the Cosmic Thought Process

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Opening!Screaming through the quagmire of being, I see--nay, feel--justification of the heat of singularity of thought. Yearning of (and for) all energies spinning--not only in the dance of Shiva, but in the fulfillment of a manifest destiny of understanding and love that gives forth its eternal fires of hope and the many tomorrows that can & will exist in the immutable paradigms of reception and order, thus bringing together the complete schism of an entity of pre- and/or ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mort Weiss: A Giant Step Out and Back

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A while back, flamboyant and forthright clarinetist Mort Weiss sent an email saying he was going to make a free form album. Frankly, it was hard to believe as no-one had been more against free form jazz than Weiss. For around two years he had been taking free form apart, decrying many players and the genre, implying it was, “Emperor's New Clothes" or worse, and now, finally, had he really come round to liking it and even performing free form? ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Mort Weiss: In Twilight... Not!

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If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams... --Yann Martel, The Life of Pi The Internet has done a bang-up job of bringing everything and everybody closer together. An immediate effect of this “closeness" is that I have become acquaintances and even friends with many of the jazz artists and other industry professionals appearing in ...

THE MORT REPORT

I Hear a Clock ... Ticking

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Hello, once again. Still above ground and taking nourishment while most any of my contemporaries who haven't left the building as of yet are listening to smooth jazz, taking their Lithium and writing with crayons. Having shared that thought with you, last month I had my 78th birthday--another strange custom (why do people celebrate one's arriving at a year closer to their death?).But I digress, having said that, I guess I could be thought of as an elder ...