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Peter Hum gives his take on David Weiss “Venture Inward”…

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If you know Snuck In and Snuck Out, the 2010 and 2012 live recordings from trumpeter David Weiss and his Point of Departure quintet, then this recently released studio disc from the trumpeter’s group might induce some déjà entendu.

In paticular, there’s a significant amount of overlap between the Snuck In and Venture Inward, which is not surprising given that all of the discs were essentially recorded a day apart in 2008. Thus, both CDs include versions of the Herbie Hancock tune I Have A Dream, the Tony Williams piece Black Comedy, and the Charles Moore pieces Number 4 and Snuck In. (CompletingVenture Inward are the title track and Pax, both by pianist Andrew Hill.)

More important that what was played, however, is the commonality of how the music was played. Happily, all the recordings by Weiss’s group exhibit the same feistiness and churning, postbop creativity.

Listen to the studio version of I Have A Dream to hear the eye-widening power and smarts of Weiss and tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, as well as their keen rapport. Meanwhile, guitarist Nir Felder is a mindblower of his own come solo time. The mood is definitely contemporary and rough-and-tumble, courtesy of splashy drummer Jamire Williams, on this track and others. Admirably holding down the fort is bassist Luques Curtis.

Throughout, Weiss and his youthful group add new sizzle to the choice material by 1960s jazz master composers. The tracks sounds fresh and immediate, and tunes such as title cannily constructed Snuck In, with its metrically tricky form, remain challenging today. (Spoiler: Here’s how that tune is constructed metrically.)

Weiss’ Point of Departure project may have been something of a musical shooting star five years ago, generating artifacts that are only reaching us now. Let’s hope that the busy trumpeter — he’s often occupied with the Cookers, whose most recent CD I reviewed here — can find the time to venture inward again with Allen, Felder, Williams and Curtis.


Written by editor

May 28th, 2013 at 5:48 am

Posted in Reviews

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