Friday, September 11, 2009

Dan Weiss, Ace Drummer and Indo-American Conceptualist

Dan Weiss came up the other day as the drummer on Rez Abbasi's new CD (see my other blog, September 8th entry). We go back a couple of years today to the Dan Weiss Trio CD Now Yes When (Toneofapitch). The band assembled for this recording consists of Mr. Weiss on drums, Jacob Sacks, piano, and Thomas Morgan, bass. There are also a couple of hip trombonists added on one cut.

Now first of all I must say that this set of music exhibits a certain rigor. It's a rather breathtaking jaunt into territory occupied by the subtle influence of Indian classical music on a very modern acoustic amalgam of advanced post-bop jazz and fusion. Every cut follows its own internal logic with determination, so much so that my first listen gave me pause. I didn't quite know what to make of it. Several listens later, though, I began to get it. It's that kind of music.

There is plenty of evidence of Mr. Weiss the master drummer and interesting composer. He has great control of his drum sound and executes all kinds of rhythmic complexities with a sureness that is impressive. His bandmates devote much of their effort in realizing Dan's musical vision, but they also show great feel, improvisational chops of a singular order and solid musicianship. Like that old Blue Note album, Tony Williams' first Lifetime record, it shows that some of the best drummers bring to the table a wide view of what their music is about, and it is about much more than playing great "time" or inventive soloing.

This CD breaks some new ground. I would recommend it to anyone who responds to music that is rhythmically profound, melodically-harmonically complex, and thoroughly absorbing in a somewhat cerebral way.

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