If you walked into a room, closed your eyes, and listened Davis Weiss’ debut CD, "Breathing Room," you’d think that you were getting a small dose of Blue Note heaven. You couldn’t put your finger on which artist, but you’d figure it might be a previously unreleased Blue Note hard bop recording of the early 1960s. Bits and pieces could be identified with Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver or Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The sound is glorious, the music played exceeding well. It all sounds familiar but the tunes are mostly unrecognizable. Many of the pieces are compositions written by Weiss.
Weiss and his band, featuring Marcus and E.J. Strickland, Craig Handy, Xavier Davis and Dwayne Burno, play tightly and intricately as they reconstruct the hard bop idiom. It is a conservative approach, but you can not argue with the vitality of the recording. Weiss’ band’s music is as fresh now as it was then.
The album was produced by the Spanish-based Fresh Sound/New Talent Records. It’s just that: talented young musicians with a crisp sound that reverently re-examines a well-traveled terrain. Highlights of "Breathing Room" include ‘Getaway’ and ‘Those Who Sit and Wait.’
Keep an eye and ear for these musicians as they explore new sonic territories in future recordings.