Al­bums by David Weiss and Fa­ther John Misty

When Words Fail (Motéma Mu­sic)

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - — Paul Wei­de­man

Trum­peter David Weiss, solidly in the jazz scene for three decades now, is the force be­hind the New Jazz Com­posers Octet, the Point of De­par­ture Quin­tet, and all-star band the Cook­ers. He’s also a com­poser: Six of the eight tunes on When Words Fail are Weiss orig­i­nals. His new sex­tet jumps right into “The In­trepid Hub,” a straigh­ta­head, hard-bop pro­ceed­ing that’s a fit­ting trib­ute to Fred­die Hub­bard. There are heady so­los by the horn play­ers — My­ron Walden on alto, Weiss and Mar­cus Strick­land on tenor — as well as by pi­anist Xavier Davis. Dwayne Burno’s fast-walk­ing bass and E.J. Strick­land’s cym­bal-syn­co­pated drum­ming are right-on. This is the last record­ing by Burno, who died of kid­ney dis­ease at the age of forty-three in De­cem­ber 2013. He’s a strong pres­ence — his play­ing both in­ci­sive and soul­ful — on the ti­tle song, which Weiss ded­i­cated to him. Walden is fea­tured on two stand­out tracks, se­ri­ously dig­ging into “Way­ward,” the heart of a piece com­mis­sioned sev­eral years ago for the New Jazz Com­posers Octet, and fash­ion­ing an in­cen­di­ary solo on the oth­er­wise pen­sive “Lul­laby for a Lonely Child,” by the Welsh mu­si­cian and com­poser Karl Jenk­ins. This al­bum was con­ceived as Weiss was struck by a great sense of loss and des­o­la­tion af­ter the deaths of sev­eral ac­quain­tances — one of them a child killed in the Sandy Hook El­e­men­tary School massacre — but the mu­sic, which is res­o­lutely ex­u­ber­ant, is ex­cel­lent.

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