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Exploring the Jazz Trumpet of David Weiss – When Words Fail…

When Words FailOne of the albums that has been in my rotation this week is When Words Fail from jazz trumpeter David Weiss.

David Weiss (born October 21, 1964 in New York City) is a jazz trumpeter and the founder of The New Jazz Composers Octet, a group dedicated to innovation in jazz. He studied music at North Texas State University, graduating in 1986. Returning to New York, he performed with Jaki Byard, Frank Foster, and Jimmy Heath. He continued his studies with trumpeters Tommy Turrentine and Bill Hardman, as well as attending Barry Harris’s jazz classes. Eventually leading an “After Hours” session for Harris, he performed with such musicians as Stephen Scott, Winard Harper, Leon Parker, Sam Newsome, Justin Robinson, Rodney Kendrick, Roy Hargrove, Clifford Jordan, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Watts, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green, and Billy Hart.

In 1990, Weiss started a band with tenor saxophonist Craig Handy. The rest of the band rotated: Benny Green, Stephen Scott, or Dave Kikoski on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Billy Hart or Jeff Watts on drums. Weiss assisted Handy with the music of The Cosby Mysteries, including arranging the title theme. From there, he began arranging for such artists as Abbey Lincoln, Freddie Hubbard, and Rodney Kendrick, Alto Legacy with Phil Woods, Vincent Herring, and Antonio Hart. He arranged an album called Haunted Melodies in tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, as well as tribute concerts at Birdland for Freddie Hubbard, Booker Little, and Lee Morgan. Read More

I have listened to the album several times and have enjoyed it more each time. As I listened to the opening track “The Intrepid Hub” I was thinking that Weiss sounded a lot like Freddie Hubbard on the track and then I smacked myself in the head! “The Intrepid HUB”! nimnuts” Anyway, this afternoon I read that the title is a reference to Hubbard’s “The Intrepid Fox” and on the track uses a couple of Hubbard’s compositional devices!

The other players on the album pianist Xavier Davis, saxophonist Myron Walden, drummer E.J. Strickland, saxophonist twin brother of E.J. Marcus Strickland and  bassist Dwayne Burno  all played on Weiss’s first solo release 12 years ago.

In a review of the album at London Jazz I read this about the song “Loss”

The father of Jana Herzen, the founder of Motéma Music, recently died, and Loss is for her. There is a measured contribution from the leader, but the solo by alto saxophonist Myron Walden is particularly striking. He’s the most outstanding instrumentalist on this album and his keening, squeezed, twisted howl is prominently featured. Read More

The son now may also be for Dwayne Burno, who passed away at the age of 43. only three weeks after the recording of the album. Here’s the song! and Check out the Album!