Standout trumpeter David Weiss (from The Cookers, Point of Departure, and Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter) has a new project, When Words Fail, set to be released on May 20th. Weiss has made one of the tunes from the album available ahead of that release. "Loss" features Weiss on trumpet, Myron Walden and Marcus Strickland on saxes, Xavier Davis on piano, the late Dwayne Burno on bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums. The music on When Words Fail come out of a difficult period for Weiss ("the last year or so has been a time of profound loss for me"). For the jazz community, When Words Fail is the final recording made by bassist Dwayne Burno before he was lost to us. The tune "Loss" was written by Weiss for the founder of Motema Music, Jana Herzen, who recently lost her father. Having given this context, "Loss" is an excellent piece of modern jazz that is full of great solos and group playing. The connection between Burno and Davis on bass and piano, respectively, is tight as they provide the rhythm section backing along with E.J. Strickland’s drums, and the whole tune moves along beautifully. Check it out after the jump.
I am back at the International Jazz Festival in Guatemala City, a week to the day since I ventured out for my first taste of Guatemalan jazz, and about two weeks since I learned there was such a thing as Guatemalan Jazz. On that first trip, in which I had caught saxophonist Marco Castelli and his merry band of fellow Italians, I had entered with plenty of preconceived notions regarding what jazz in a non-first world country would sound like. Castelli’s style, which toed the line between the Django-inflected gypsy style and Looney Tunes circus sounds, both dispelled and confirmed many of these suspicions. But then one show can’t be fully representative. So back I am.
Around the tail end of last year, we made a lot of to-do about the latest album from pianist Tigran (Hamasyan, but he's going by just one name because he's cool like that), Shadow Theater, which was released internationally on the Verve label, but not in the US. When he stopped in Austin, Texas, as part of a US tour, Americans could only get a glimpse of this album from the then recent release of the The Poet EP. Finally, Shadow Theater is getting a US release on Sunnyside Records on April 15th.
Taylor McFerrin probably gets just as many props for his own pure talent as he does for mere association. The son of the legendary vocalist Bobby McFerrin (and with the scatting skills just as deep), Taylor has been veering off to other musical ventures for years, most prominently with the Brainfeeder collective of individuals, melding jazz, hip hop, electronic, and many other sounds into a vibe all its own that is plastered all over the label. McFerrin has been contributing to the efforts of other musicians and is soon to release his own album, Early Riser, on Brainfeeder this coming June 3rd. The album will feature guest appearances from Thundercat, Robert Glasper, his father Bobby, and others. In preparation of all this, he just released the first song from the album, "The Antidote", featuring the always welcome vocals of Hiatus Kaiyote's Nai Palm. Listen to "The Antidote" after the jump.