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Monday, November 8, 2010

David Weiss and Point of Departure: Snuck In

There's plenty of post-bop revivalism in jazz—reinterpretations of the music of the 1960s—but it's rarely as interesting, original, and fresh as what we hear from David Weiss on Snuck InMy review on PopMatters is up today.

On the most superficial level, Weiss's band, Point of Departure (for the classic Andrew Hill album of the mid-60s) uses guitar rather than piano for the chording instrument—a simple innovation that gives this band a more contemporary sound.  The guitarist is Nir Felder, a young Berklee cat whose sounds is fresh enough to give this band a tasty ZING.

Second, Weiss (known mainly as the arranger for the New Jazz Composers Octet, which has recently played with/for/behind the late Freddie Hubbard) has chosen tunes that we don't usually hear covered—tunes by Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, and (!) Charles Moore that are not the standard Real Book fare.

The playing is loose and joyous.  JD Allen on tenor never plays cliches.  And Jamire Williams (from Robert Glasper's great piano trio) plus Matt Clohesy make for a driving rhythm section.  Weiss himself borrows from Hubbard and Lee Morgan, but he adds his own tart tone and ragged flash of imagination.

For jazz fans who never got enough of those old Blue Notes that teetered on the edge of freedom but never quite went "out," Snuck In is a much-recommended blast from the past.

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