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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss Big Band: We Limit Not The Truth of God

Read "We Limit Not The Truth of God" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

In 2015 Ezra Weiss began to compose a suite that he intended would be a cautiously optimistic message to his young children about the world they were living in and the challenges and promise they would face as they grew up. By the time this music was completed and recorded in December 2018, its mood and message had changed dramatically. This suite is now an impassioned cry by Weiss on how he and his children might cope with the dark, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss Big Band: We Limit Not The Truth of God

Read "We Limit Not The Truth of God" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Ezra Weiss's debut big-band recording, We Limit Not the Truth of God, is actually a suite written for his two young children to help them understand and embrace the often confusing and chaotic world in which we live. It is thus entirely appropriate that the album was recorded (with an audience) in a church, Portland (OR)'s historic Alberta Abbey. What is not quite clear is the referent “we" in the album's presumptuous title. Is that “we" as ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble: From Maxville to Vanport

Read "From Maxville to Vanport" reviewed by Jack Bowers

From Maxville to Vanport is music with a purpose, saluting the courage and resilience of black Americans who helped build those cities in the '20s and '40s in the face of unrelenting prejudice and hostility and in so doing helped make the state of Oregon what it is today. The music is by Ezra Weiss, the lyrics by poet S. Renee Mitchell, the performance by the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble featuring vocalist Marilyn Keller. As a part of the score ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It [Live In Portland]

Read "Before You Know It [Live In Portland]" reviewed by Dave Wayne

On Before You Know It, pianist / composer Ezra Weiss provides convincing evidence for the continued health and well-being of good old, straight ahead, gimmick-free modern acoustic jazz. The archetype for Weiss' beefy band and punchy charts would include Art Blakey's expanded Jazz Messenger lineups, some of McCoy Tyner's larger groups from the early-to-late 1970s, or perhaps some of Slide Hampton's septets and octets. Yet, Weiss' sound is utterly contemporary, exploring a wide variety of modern jazz styles in a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It [Live In Portland]

Read "Before You Know It [Live In Portland]" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Portland State University professor Ezra Weiss is a prominent pianist and composer in his own right who has several recordings to his credit and is a three-time winner of the prestigious ASCAP Young Composer Award. A traditionalist who prefers the straight ahead and modern jazz styles, Weiss delivers another gem on Before You Know It [Live In Portland], his seventh album as leader with one important distinction: the session was recorded at the Ivories Jazz Lounge in Portland, Oregon, for ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It [Live In Portland]

Read "Before You Know It [Live In Portland]" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Recorded over two nights in Portland's Ivories Jazz Lounge during late-2013, Before You Know It [Live In Portland] is pianist and composer Ezra Weiss' seventh album and his first live recording. Weiss' previous releases have featured big bands (Our Path To This Moment [Roark Records, 2012]) and trios (The Shirley Horn Suite [Roark Records, 2011]). However, it's the sextet format that has featured most strongly on Weiss' recordings and it's this line-up that returns for Before You Know ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ezra Weiss and The Rob Scheps Big Band: Our Path To This Moment

Read "Our Path To This Moment" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A veteran jazz artist and educator, Oregon-based Ezra Weiss is much more than a fine pianist; he is a talented composer and arranger nominated for Best Arranger under the Rising Star category of Downbeat Magazine's 60th Annual Critics Poll of 2012. Since graduating from the country's oldest music school (Ohio's Oberlin Conservatory of Music), Weiss has produced five recordings as well as penning countless compositions for various high school and college music departments. Weiss has always yearned to produce a ...


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