David Weiss

Breathing Room

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Trumpeter David Weiss makes his debut as a leader on Fresh Sound/New Talent, the label that issued his rewarding New Jazz Composers Octet project in 1999. Here he's joined by the young Strickland brothers (Marcus on tenor sax and E.J. on drums), with Xavier Davis on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass, and, on four tracks, Craig Handy on alto sax. Four of the seven tracks are Weiss originals, including the superb "Getaway," which moves through multiple time feels and features Davis on Fender Rhodes. "Breathing Room" and "Dark Forces," a pair of pieces based on even-eighth grooves, are not quite as memorable; the closing "Kickback" is a knockoff of Joe Henderson's "The Kicker." Marcus Strickland's up-tempo "Parallel Sonorities" and two fairly straightforward Wayne Shorter covers, "Armageddon" and the obscure "Those Who Sit and Wait," complete the program. Weiss' horn arrangements are thick with movement and color; his trumpet speaks with forceful clarity, yet he wisely leaves ample room for the other outstanding soloists in the band, particularly the suave, underrated Davis.

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