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James Weidman - THREE WORLDS

James Weidman -][- THREE WORLDS – [James Weidman, 2009]

A valued and talented pianist, James Weidman has been a sideman and accompanist in many settings over the past 20 years; from Abbey Lincoln and Steve Coleman to Kevin Mahogany and Joe Lovano. He has also proven to be an increasingly significant bandleader and composer. His most recent CD, Three Worlds, is unquestionably his most ambitious recording to date.

On Three Worlds, Weidman performs nine of his originals plus the traditional “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho” with his trio including Francisco Mela on drums and Brad Jones on bass. On other tracks, Weidman is found in varying configurations of quartet on two selections (with the addition of vibraphonist Jay Hoggard) and a particularly adventurous quintet on five selections (with trombonist Ray Anderson and multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich; sans Hoggard).

“I started writing for Three Worlds a couple of years before we made the recording,” recalls the pianist. “I knew conceptually how I wanted to present the music. I had just come off arranging music for a big band project of black spirituals. After touring with both Marty and Ray at various times over the years, I was actually thinking of how I could incorporate their instrumental voices into my music. I met drummer Francisco Mela through my work with Joe Lovano in 2005. He is from Cuba, and not only knows that tradition well, but he also swings. I met bassist Brad Jones through Marty and have previously played and recorded with Jay Hoggard,” continues Weidman. “For the most part, these musicians had never played my music before, but it came out exactly as I’d hoped. It was very much a musical kinship, the best of all worlds.”

James Weidman’s music fits into the modern mainstream of jazz without being predictable. With original chord changes and voicings, his mastery is demonstrated with various changes in rhythm and time. On Three Worlds, a handful of tunes showcase the trio. The swinging original “Mirrored Images,” the exuberant “Razz 2.0,” and the soulful “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho,” make Three Worlds a program which gets better with each repeated listening.

..:: SOURCE: CDBaby.com ::..