Albums by David Weiss and Father John Misty
When Words Fail (Motéma Music)
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.