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With big band arrangements, David Weiss's sextet and octet stretch the boundaries of hard bop. Solid in their caricature, they romp and stomp with clarity of purpose. The trumpeter's original compositions build an intense dramatic spirit, while leaving much room for soloist improvisation.
The leader's trumpet soars lyrically with passion. He imposes a storyline on each piece. "Stalker" moves stealthily in the shadows with dramatic tension, while "Nostalghia" wanders aimlessly along familiar shores. One places the listener in tight situations, while the other opens up a world of opportunity. Weiss opens up on this album, too, letting his trumpet speak freely of the sights and sounds in the world around us.
Myron Walden, Marcus Strickland, and Xavier Davis provide substantial improvised solos to complement the trumpeter in his quest to create distinct impressions. "The Mirror" leaves room for some serious contemplation, while "The Sacrifice" floats gently on clouds of relaxed joy. Wayne Shorter's "Mr. Jin" gives the trumpeter a place to vacation. Exotic and laid back, the piece makes a positive statement about our outlook. The future should always look so bright.
Weiss paints each scene with a different mood. His versatile trumpet and cohesive band allow him to transcribe his thoughts into music. We, in turn, are free to interpret naturally. Recommended, the album provides a wide palette of colors for our enquiring minds.
Track Listing: Stalker; The Mirror; Nostalghia; Our Trip; The Sacrifice; Love Letter to One Not Yet Met?; Mr. Jin.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.