Tad Weed

Soloing

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Weed's pianistic brilliance is pretty clear after hearing just a few measures of this exceptional recording. He's clearly a virtuoso who has any kind of improvisational or melodic vehicles at his immediate command and is not shy about using his ideas freely. This is a modern mainstream effort, mostly trio selections with equally exceptional bassist Ken Filiano and either Joe LaBarbera (five cuts) or Billy Mintz (two). Weed also plays solo here and there. It could be contended that Weed is most impressive when playing highly charged bebop, where he's virtually unstoppable. He's flying, Filiano and LaBarbera filling in every crack during "Lester Left Town" and urgently running the gamut of lightning-fast notes during his original melody "What Is" as Filiano's pizzicato solo and traded eights with LaBarbera pick up Weed's cues. He's also energetic on solo versions of the rousing barrelhouse-styled two-minute egg "Liza," while inventing personal adaptations and embellishments to the Clifford Brown evergreen "Joyspring." Effortlessly shifting gears from second to fourth on "I've Never Been in Love Before," the trio also can bounce the blues easily with a solo stride bridge for Weed's "Ellington Mist." There's also a pristine side, especially in the sprightly, crystalline, Chick Corea-ish solo piano take on Gerry Niewood's "Joy," the pretty, cascading ballad written by Mintz "Beautiful You," the Weed grown spiritual solo to lilting trio ballad "A Prayer," and the solo, fairly standard "In a Sentimental Mood." At his most developmental, "A Glance That Billy Gave" uses quick stop-starts, suddenly slowed passages, a boppish bridge tinged with "Like Being in Love" refrains, and ticktock rhythms for a deft bass and powerhouse drum solo, truly an up/down, yin/yang playful format. How tall Weed can be in this world of jazz is only be limited by his imagination and the opportunities he gets to document his music. This recording represents an auspicious debut, one that comes with a very high recommendation.

blue highlight denotes track pick