Mort Weiss

The Four of Us: Live at Steamers

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Clarinetist Mort Weiss has had an unusual career. He played in the 1950s and then put away his clarinet for 40 years while he ran a retail music business and raised a family. In 2001 he came out of retirement and, amazingly enough, his technique was still excellent. Since then, Weiss has recorded several CDs that show off his bop-oriented style well. Although not quite as fluent as Buddy DeFranco, Weiss plays in a similar style, and fast tempos do not faze him. Teamed with Ron Eschete (who plays the seven-string guitar), bassist Dave Carpenter, and drummer Roy McCurdy, Weiss digs into eight standards, stretching out and never seeming to run out of ideas or enthusiasm. This live set, from Fullerton's Steamers, is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans, particularly those who only associate the clarinet with swing and Dixieland.

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