This is the second album for trumpeter David Weiss on Fresh Sound New Talent, following his 2001 debut, Breathing Room. The songs are all originals, except for Kevin Hays' "Our Trip" and Wayne Shorter's "Mr. Jin." The album is structured into a sextet on most of the tracks and an octet on the final two selections. The sextet members are the same musicians who appear on Weiss' earlier album.
The album opens with "Stalker," and the group charges out in a Art Blakey Jazz Messengers mode with a fiery Weiss in the Clifford Brown-Lee Morgan-Freddie Hubbard tradition. Myron Walden's alto follows with considerable heat and toys with free jazz hints. Marcus Strickland's tenor solo is more melody-based. The title tune follows in a similar pattern, albeit in a mid-tempo groove. These opening tracks (21 minutes) set the pace for the remainder of the album, with plenty of space for solos.
There is a similarity on the first five tracks insofar as tunes and tempo, with the best solo work provided by Weiss and Xavier Davis' sturdy piano playing. No ballad is featured until the octet's appearance with "Love Letter to One Not Yet Met." The octet has a fuller and more layered sound with the addition of Craig Handy, Steve Davis, and Norbert Stochel. On the above track, Stochel plays bass clarinet; and on the finale, "Mr. Jin," all hands get a chance to shine.
Track Listing: Stalker, The Mirror, Nostalghia, Our Trip, The Sacrifice, Love Letter to One Not Yet Met, Mr.Jin.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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