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Eight guys are a lot to fit on the little stage at Joe’s Pub. But trumpeter David Weiss and his crew squeezed in cozily last month for their CD release party. The New Jazz Composers Octet’s second disc, Walkin’ The Line, venerates a bygone era of big bands, a time when torrents of jazz streaming like freight trains out of horns was the order of the day. But while those Swing-era bands played with an unending, lindy- hopping jubilance, this young octet adds whispers of dusk to the seven tracks on their new disc including an arrangement of Chick Corea’s “Inner Space”. They’re a young group, but the style of music has seen quite a bit in its time, and there’s a tale to be told.
The contrast between alto saxophonist Myron Walden and tenor/soprano saxophonist Jimmy Greene gives the group its distinguishing element. Greene lights the match and makes kinetics do its thing, while Walden takes his own route balancing assertion with elegance. On the title track by pianist Xavier Davis, Greene drives in with a brick-throwing solo. Dressed in a big white suit on stage at Joe’s Pub he led the group as it merged into a shimmering climax. The tune’s playful motif quietly dissolves into Walden’s tender solo.
With the blue stage lights shining off his head, Walden took starring role. As reflected in the album, his solos throb with sentiment but don’t weep. They enjoy the solitude, meandering happily alone. In Weiss’s “A Little Twist”, Walden freely expresses his musicality devoid of any self-consciousness.
Honorary saxophonist Craig Handy’s composition “Abdullah’s Demeanor” erupts into expansive horn sections. They ascend into a melancholy soundscape punctuated by Handy’s sinewy solo on tenor sax. All the instruments follow Nasheet Waits’ slow drums into the marsh and a heavy oppression seeps in.
Walkin’ The Line combines the joviality of big band glee with hints of dark undertones. It’s music trimmed with the imperfections of human life.
Track Listing: 1. Deadweight
2. A Little Twist
Personnel: David Weiss (tp), Myron Walden (as), Jimmy Greene (ts,ss), Steve Davis
(tb), Andrew Williams (tb), Chris Karlic (bs), Xavier Davis (p), Dwayne
Burno (b), Nasheet Waits (d), Craig handy (as, ts, ss), Joe Chambers (d).
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com