Walt Weiskopf Quartet / Walt Weiskopf

Recorded Live April 8, 2008: Koger Hall, University of South Carolina

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Walt Weiskopf led a quartet with pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Paul Gill, and drummer Tony Reedus in the spring of 2008 at the University of South Carolina. Although the musicians knew the live concert documented here was being recorded, the recording was initially intended for archival needs rather than as a commercial release. Around the time that the tenor saxophonist realized how good the performances were from the concert, Reedus collapsed and died from an embolism upon his return from a European tour in November 2008. The quartet members are at their very best throughout this concert, as they bring life to Weiskopf's compositions with their brilliant improvising and on-the-money accompaniment. There are two standards, an expressive "Blame It on My Youth," featuring Weiskopf's powerful solo, and a lighthearted, breezy "Love for Sale." Aside from the traditional "Scottish Folk Song" (introduced by the leader with Gill playing arco), played at a loping, nostalgic tempo, the remaining tracks are primarily Weiskopf's compositions. One exception is Rosnes' brilliant "Dizzy Spells" (a delicious reworking of the late trumpeter's "Con Alma"), which is combined in a medley with an extended workout of Weiskopf's "Jay-Walking." Other highlights include the tricky, constantly shifting "Blues in the Day" and the turbulent post-bop vehicle "Breakdown." Highly recommended.

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