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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

CD Review: Alex Weitz - Luma

Alex Weitz (tenor); Tal Cohen (piano); Ben Tiberio (bass); Michael Piolet (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I'm not going to claim that this is the Album of the Year - how could I when there are so many?
Nevertheless, it will certainly be a lot nearer than the top than the bottom.
It's an honest album, by which I mean it doesn't hide behind any bizarre electronics and, to my ears, non-musical effects. Instead, we have hard swinging post-bop tenor contrasting with Debussy/Delius-like musical reveries that may hark back to Weitz's early days with the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band where he versed himself in the music of Duke and Basie.

Fast forward to today and, although that foundation is built-in he's also built upon it. The great tenor players such as Griffin, Mobley, Getz, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Coltrane, and others have also left their mark from which Weitz has emerged as his own man. Not just a driving force but also a tender balladeer and composer. No pet shop fires here just a man laying his cards on the table and showing a full house.
Weitz may have composed and arranged all 9 tracks but he's not the only one to catch the ear. Pianist Cohen is as sympathetic a pianist as Weitz could wish for and, when he's let loose, he goes for broke. Tiberio holds it all together as a good bassist should whilst Piolet knows just when to put the boot in which is quite often.
Weitz received DownBeat's Outstanding Undergraduate Soloist award in 2013, as well as recognition from ASCAP as an outstanding young jazz composer. Methinks that in the future there will be more awards from DownBeat.
If not, I'll cancel my subscription and buy the NME.
Lance.

1 comment :

Christoph Büch said...

Hi Lance, quite a convincing review. I`m also a fan of the pure stuff. So, I probably gonna get me "Luna". Thank`s for the tip.
By the way, do you know Dudley Owens Aaron Wright Band "People Calling" (Origin 2012).
Should meet your taste, wonderful sax-blowing and a very warm acoustic sound. Sounds even a bit (of course only a bit ..) like "A Love Supreme". Give it a try!
Greetings from Berlin
Christoph

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