Point of Departure / David Weiss

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Most jazz trumpeters are, with all good reason, influenced by the pervasive sound of Miles Davis, but David Weiss would like to introduce you to someone else. Former Detroiter Charles Moore, the frontman for the legendary Contemporary Jazz Quintet featuring Kenn Cox, is his man, for many a shadow figure who has been living in Los Angeles, working with Eternal Wind, Adam Rudolph, and Yusef Lateef on occasion. Weiss and his quintet, dubbed Point of Departure, play Moore's music in this live set on a single night at the Jazz Standard in New York City, with another ex-Detroiter, J.D. Allen, as his front-line mate on tenor sax, much as Leon Henderson was with Moore in CJQ. Accompanied by guitarist Nir Felder, the excellent bassist Matt Clohesy, and drummer Jamire Williams, Weiss has a very tight band that is also elastic enough to do just about anything on the spot. They can churn up a storm, shout out with the horns, or extrapolate from original melody lines ad infinitum. "Number 4," at a whopping 20 minutes, is typical of Moore's approach in its hard-to-post bop-to-fusion vision, slightly soured as Weiss and Allen push their instruments just over the tipping point. The title track expresses Moore's fondness for ostinato modality, as Clohesy sets up his bassline as an anchor while the others run tangents out of or around it. Of course the Miles Davis factor is not far removed -- after all, he did come before Moore -- as the band does a jam on Herbie Hancock's "I Have a Dream," and jump up for the busy Tony Williams composition "Black Comedy" with Jamire Williams in the driver's seat. Andrew Hill's ballad "Erato" is also included in this exceptional set of music, leaving the listener craving more -- hopefully in a second volume -- from this very talented, cohesive ensemble.

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