Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

David Weiss

David Weiss

For the past 18 years, trumpeter-arranger David Weiss has been flying under the radar, quietly going about the daily struggle of being a working jazz musician in New York City while performing at a consistently high level on the bandstand and amassing a bunch of impressive credits along the way. Although the New York native had been on the scene since 1986-when he graduated from North Texas State, returned home and began working in everything from Latin and Haitian bands to sideman gigs with jazz veterans like Frank Foster, Jaki Byard and Jimmy Heath-it wasn’t until 1995, when he made some key contributions to Freddie Hubbard’s Music Masters recording, Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon, that Weiss began gaining attention for his arranging skills.

Since then, he has done numerous arrangements on a host of recordings by such artists as Abbey Lincoln, Phil Woods, Vincent Herring and Antonio Hart. But his best work to date as a composer and arranger has been in the service of his own sextet and for the New Jazz Composers Octet, the boundary-stretching cooperative group he founded in 1996. Since then, the NJCO has made two excellent recordings on Spain’s Fresh Sound New Talent label: 1999’s First Steps Into Reality and 2003’s Walkin’ the Line, which saw the group make an incremental leap in its development. Comprised of such advanced young composers and players as pianist Xavier Davis, alto saxophonist Myron Walden, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene, baritone saxophonist Chris Karlic, trombonist Steve Davis, bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Nasheet Waits, the NJCO also backed Freddie Hubbard on his ambitious 2001 recording, New Colors (Hip Bop), performing Weiss’ fresh arrangements of familiar Hubbard pieces. “New Colors had its moments,” Weiss maintains, “but I’d like to make a grander statement with Freddie. It would be nice to get a second crack at things because we do have a lot of material, and it’s definitely better material than the first one. Plus, it would be nice for him to go out in better style.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published