7

David Weiss: When Words Fail

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
David Weiss: When Words Fail "Where words fail, music speaks." Jana Herzen, head of Motema Music, shared this Hans Christian Anderson quote with David Weiss after the trumpeter had already titled his new record; the sentiment of that statement just happens to perfectly connect with this album.

In 2013, loss seemed to hover around Weiss, his friends, and the jazz community at large. So, when faced with the cruel realities of life and death, Weiss did what any artist of great character and strength would do: he let his music speak his feelings. When Words Fail is a tribute album, but better not to call it that, for it doesn't look to eulogize a single individual, paint pictures of sadness, or dwell on a particular state of mind. Instead, it comes off as cathartic art, celebrating musical brotherhood and life in general.

Over the years, Weiss has earned much critical praise and respect for his ambitious and wide-ranging work with The New Jazz Composers Octet, his support and championing of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard during that icon's last years, explorations with his Point Of Departure band, burn-and-drive work with The Cookers, and reworkings of saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter's music. In those situations, Weiss wore many hats, serving as composer, arranger, leader, supporter, and situation-maker. Here, he does the same, but he also serves as the emotional power source for this music. When Words Fail may be the most direct and personal record Weiss has ever released.

The album opens with Weiss' tribute to Hubbard—"The Intrepid Hub." Right away, Weiss makes it clear that this is more about joy than sadness, as Hubbard's aggressive, hard-driving qualities come through in the music. The title track is dedicated to bassist Dwayne Burno, who passed away shortly after recording this album. His jaunty bass sets the song in motion. Other album high points include the inquisitive and probing "Loss," a nod to Herzen, who lost her father in 2013, and "Passage Into Eternity," dedicated to saxophonist Jimmy Greene and his family, who lost Ana Grace Marquez-Greene in the horrific and senseless Sandy Hook massacre. Rather than focus on the sadness surrounding this event, Weiss seems to focus on reflection, the honoring of life, and looking toward what comes after.

Life and loss are inextricably linked, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept. When Words Fail, without obsessing on gloom or focusing solely on silver linings, takes an honest look at that fact.


Track Listing: The Intrepid Hub; When Words Fail; MJ; Wayward; White Magic; Loss; Lullaby For A Lonely Child; Passage Into Eternity.

Personnel: David Weiss: trumpet; Myron Walden: alto saxophone; Marcus Strickland: tenor saxophone; Xavier Davis: piano; Dwayne Burno: bass; E.J. Strickland: drums; Ben Eusen: guitar (3, 8).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Motema Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Bye" CD/LP/Track Review Bye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Rising Colossus" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Colossus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Columbia Years 1968-1969" CD/LP/Track Review Columbia Years 1968-1969
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!