A live date with one studio track, Snuck Out is the sequel to Snuck In, a recording of a first set trumpeter Weiss’ quintet laid down at the Jazz Standard in late March 2008. This is a document of that same night’s second set, and it features a quintet focused on dynamic tension rather than showboating.
Weiss, who provided key assistance to Freddie Hubbard during the trumpeter’s productive late career, has recorded tributes to Hub as well as to Booker Little and Lee Morgan, bop masters who peaked in the ’60s. Snuck Out, while it pays homage to that fertile decade, sounds more modern despite its ’60s grounding. It certainly is assertive, its launch pad Charles Tolliver’s “Revillot,” a track busy as a traffic jam. Guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Jamire Williams propel, J.D. Allen’s narrow tenor sax keeping everything on course. Eventually Weiss pops in, tone sharp, improvisation coiled. Williams’ cymbals keep the tune splashy.
Detroit trumpeter Charles Moore contributed the forked, crepuscular “Gravity Point” and the quicksilver “Snuck In.” Like Wayne Shorter’s “Paraphernalia,” the lengthy heart of the album, the Moore tunes are metrically tricky, the rhythm section shifting sonic planes behind the soloists. Weiss seems content to be a leader rather than a star. His lines—elegant, purposeful, and implying—are anything but showy. Same goes for Felder, an original, angular guitar voice whose solo on “Gravity Point” is an architectural marvel paving the way for Weiss’ hottest foray.
Throughout, Snuck Out swings—even on the sole Weiss original, the leisurely, languid “Hidden Meanings.” It also suggests these early 2008 sets were visually enthralling; this music moves, conjuring jazzy images for the listener’s inner movie screen.