Brandon Sanders - Compton’s Finest

Album of the Week, 01-09-24

Michael Weiss – Homage

Released November 3, 2023

Michael Weiss has always had the ear of some of the most imposing soloists in jazz. The seasoned pianist has been a top-call sideman to a starry constellation of bandleaders during his career, from a 15-year tenure with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin to extensive tours, club dates, or recordings with George Coleman, Charles McPherson, Lou Donaldson, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Lou Donaldson and many others.

On Homage, the program combines six Weiss originals, including the sparkling leadoff track “Un Petit Quelque Chose” (“a little something”), with eloquent, insightful, deeply swinging readings of “Lullaby of the Leaves,” “I’ll Remember April” and “Skylark.” Then there’s the uncommon and beguiling Clare Fischer composition “Suddenly,” not to mention an exuberant take of Charlie Parker’s lesser-known “An Oscar for Treadwell” included here “as a dedication to the great pianist and educator Barry Harris,” Weiss writes in his liner notes. “Barry left us not long ago after a fruitful and full life bringing the art of melody to listeners and students around the world. He was a close comrade for over 40 years and left an indelible mark on my musical personality.”

Michael Weiss – piano

Paul Sikivie – bass

Pete Van Nostrand – drums

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Each week, WDNA music director, Michael Valentine shares his album of the week. Michael’s picks often focus on new jazz releases, but sometimes dip into history with notable and classic releases worth revisiting.

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