Deborah Weisz

Breaking Up, Breaking Out

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Deborah Weisz is a young trombonist with an impressive résumé, who has toured with Frank Sinatra and played with Jimmy Heath, Joe Williams, and Freddie Hubbard, among others. This disc is the debut recording of her own quintet (augmented here by her mentor Jim McNeely on piano), and it's an auspicious one. Opening with McNeely's lovely "Lost" before proceeding to Weisz's own complex and beautiful "Guinnsdom," the program ranges from unusual standards (Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" and "Ugly Beauty," Wayne Shorter's "Yes or No"), to excellent originals ("Guinnsdom," "Three Out of Three Ain't Bad," "A Certain Sunday Morning"). Weisz plays with a warm, soft tone that doesn't always stay completely in focus, but her note choices are always interesting and sometimes surprising in all the best ways. Her arrangement of "Misterioso" is especially insightful, bringing out the New Orleans influences that are never far from the surface with Monk; her mute work is funny, touching, and tasteful all at once. Here's hoping we'll hear much more from this fine talent in the future.

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