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 arguably his finest recording to date.
On Three Worlds, Weidman performs nine of his originals plus the traditional “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho” with his trio, a quartet with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, and a sextet with trombonist Ray Anderson and the reeds of Marty Ehrlich. “I started writing for Three Worlds a couple of years before we made the recording,” remembers the pianist. “I knew conceptually how I wanted to present the music. As for personnel, I met drummer Francisco Mela through Joe Lovano in 2005. He is from Cuba, and not only knows that tradition well and swings. I toured with both Marty Ehrlich and Ray Anderson before, so we already had a musical relationship. I met bassist Brad Jones through Marty and have already played and recorded with Jay Hoggard. They had never played these songs before, but it came out exactly as I’d hoped. It was very much a musical family, the best of all worlds.”