With Point of Departure, a group exploring charged and often lesser-known repertoire from the late ’60s and early ’70s, trumpeter/bandleader David Weiss has spent more than 10 years testing the youngest and rawest of New York talent through trial-by-fire on the bandstand. Talk to virtually any PoD member and they’ll offer some version of the sentiment voiced by tenor saxophonist JD Allen: “I was new in town and David was one of the only guys that gave me a shot in the beginning. He gave me work.”
Maintaining a band is notoriously difficult, but for Weiss, PoD has proved relatively simple: “If you have absolutely no pressures, then you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want. You just let it all happen.” In practical terms this means a hell-raising monthly gig at Fat Cat in New York’s West Village, plus rehearsals-cum-auditions to keep a steady rotation of eager young subs in the wings. And when inspiration strikes, you make a record: Wake Up Call (Ropeadope), PoD’s newest release, is the first to feature the two-guitar concept that Weiss and company have refined lately in the live setting. The album follows Venture Inward (2013), Snuck Out (2011) and Snuck In (2010).