The Jazz Worms—Andy Weyl on piano, Keith Oxman on tenor saxophone, Paul Romaine on drums, Ron Miles on cornet, and Mark Simon on bass—haven’t cut a record since their debut, Crawling Out, in 1987. Taking their group handle from the first letter of everyone’s last name (arranged as above), the Denver-based ensemble originally emphasized challenging compositions plus a strong sense of the quintet as community, with each player adding on, and in, to a stone soup brought scintillating to the boil.
Fascinatingly, nothing seems to have changed over 34 years. Bop’s the lexicon, but interchange through that same mutual respect rules the roost. Miles can soar through his octaves as Oxman supports him from below, not only nodding but also enriching. In comes Oxman, only for Miles to shoot back staccato: “Sorry, old buddy, wasn’t quite finished yet.” “Oh, my bad, let’s co-cogitate.” The charts, scribed by every member save Miles, integrate the horn interplay, often with Weyl’s piano bumping up from underneath. Another gap like this and they’ll start bumping up against the actuarial tables, so here’s hoping the reunion sticks.