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David Weiss – The Mirror

June 6, 2012

Released in 2004 by this fantastic exponent of Contemporary Jazz that is Fresh Sounds New Talent,” The Mirror” is a great CD in continuation of what Art Blakey would have done had he been still alive.

Mostly fronted by 2 saxes and Weiss’s trumpet, the tunes form a very energetic collection of Hard Bop with  clever writing and arranging skills from the leader. I particularly like the title tune for the intensity provided by the band and all the refined solos. Think V.S.O.P. with the brakes still on.

However, the track I can’t seem to stop listening to is one that ironically hasn’t been composed by Weiss –  “Mr Jin” by Wayne Shorter, originally from the “Indestructible” album by Blakey. Weiss’s septet arrangement is slightly more structured and definitely faster than the original but nevertheless remains a perfect blowing platform for the musicians because of how the tune is crafted – 8 bars of pedal point to get the tension going followed by 8 bars of chord progression. Brilliant and so effective with an enormous sax solo by Craig Handy here with hints of Brecker and several references to the original solo by Shorter. I shall soon post a transcription of the head  – too good a tune to not cover it.

The only thing I didn’t quite dig about the whole concept of the album was the Andrei Tarkovsky tribute. This album is warm, buoyant and in my humble opinion, miles away from the cold and austere universe of the Russian filmmaker. Those of you who relish in Tarkovsky movies and aesthetics may explore the latest ECM release by French pianist François Couturier.

Let me know which Jazz side of Tarkovsky’s legacy hits the spot for you…


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