There's always something engrossing about David Weiss & Point of Departure. The trumpeter's quintet has for some time now burrowed deeply into infectious 1970s post-bop and fusion material, playing the not-too-common hits, and in every configuration of this band, there's always a spectacular energy about them that makes each return something to get excited about. On their fourth album, the upcoming Ropeadope release Wake Up Call, Weiss has enlisted band members new and old -- guitarists, Ben Eunson, Travis Reuter, and veteran Nir Felder; tenor saxophonists Myron Walden and JD Allen; bassist Matt Clohesy; drummer Kush Abadey; Weiss applying his hand to both the trumpet and the Fender Rhodes -- to cover work from Joe Henderson, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, and Mahavishnu Orchestra. For example, to prime your engine, check out their take on the Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Sanctuary" after the jump.
Spirited percussionist Matt Young is part of the Denton/Dallas jazz scene, the forward thinking one that's not afraid of disparate interests and warping collaborations. His work with guitarist Horace Bray and the group Sky Window is definitely heard throughout his solo EP, Headspace, an electronic jazz pack of songs that shimmer and shine. It's as much a jazz album as it is a drum & bass release, which can appease some folks' wider ears. It's a neat little five song collection that's straddling the lines of all sorts of genres in the best of ways. Check it out after the jump (and note that purchasing it tomorrow, February 3rd, will also donate proceeds to the ACLU, it being on Bandcamp and they being awesome and all).
Chicago trio Twin Talk and bi-coastal brass quartet The Westerlies got together for a gig last year at Chicago's Hideout Inn. Part of what resulted from that gig is their performing Twin Talk's haunting song "I Have My Doubts", but this time with a larger sound. Check out video of all of them after the jump.
Guitarist Miles Okazaki can get (unfortunately the pun was not intended) tricky. As a composer, he encompasses a sound that spirals constantly until one may feel things could get out of control, but he manages to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Even as a player with Steve Coleman and the Five Elements or other groups that trod the roads of unclear melodies, Okazaki has that same trademark mathematical, post-bop flair. It can get a little difficult to hear sometimes, honestly. Though this is less the case on his upcoming album, Trickster, out in March on Pi Recordings.