Ezra Weiss

Before You Know It (Live in Portland) – Press Quotes

“What lifts this above the postbop norm is some growl and fury in the horns (Farnell Newton on trumpet, John Nastos on alto sax, Devin Phillips on tenor). And after they warm up the joint, he closes with a really lovely ballad.”
-Tom Hull, The Best Jazz Albums of 2014

“Leader, pianist, arranger and composer Weiss has laid down his marker. Not many will surpass it.”
-Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here

“It’s not easy to be a ground breaking, genre pusher, but experimentally leaning piano man Weiss keeps his eye on the ball and his crew on message as he tackles his first live recording…”
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“It shows that the Big Apple does not have a monopoly on resident hot jazz talent…”
-Jeff Krow, Audiophile Audition

“Far from hoarding the spotlight on his album, Mr. Weiss shows a huge respect for his fellow band members, writing sensitively for the whole ensemble and creating a sound that is richer than it would have been had he hogged the spotlight. His melodies are engaging, memorable and thoughtfully placed.”
-Kelly Koenig, NY Jazz Examiner

“Pianist/composer/arranger Weiss offers a brilliant performance, on this, his first live recording. Based in Portland, Oregon, the polished, inventive jazz artist’s evocative compositions take the listener on a journey. And his touch on the keyboard is magical.”
-Paul Freeman, PopCultureClassics.com

“An unselfish player, Weiss crafts an amazing album where the center of attention is rarely his, preferring to let the members of his audacious sextet take center stage. Nevertheless, Weiss can’t escape the reality that it’s the quality of his music, that truly shines here and makes Before You Know It [Live In Portland] such a memorable musical experience.”
-Edward Blanco, All About Jazz

“John Coltrane’s ‘Alabama’ was an inspired choice and the result is the most satisfying and exciting version of the song since Coltrane’s original recording.”
-Scott Yanow, Jazz Inside

“From such moments of attentive beauty to the blister and tear of “The Crusher,” Before You Know It is a vivid live embodiment of Weiss’ journey thus far. But more than that, it speaks to the spirit of unity that perhaps only music can evoke. It speaks to his vision as a composer and his love for melodies, underlining the reality that he really is one of today’s most captivating and inspiring young talents.”
-Jordan Richardson, Canadian Audiophile

“From the first notes, it is clear that this is going to be one of the best live albums of the year.”
-Travis Rogers Jr., Music Life and Times

“It’s jazz for the purist; the sound is studio clean and the energy is opening night of a world tour high.”
-Carl F Gauze, Ink 19

“This release can be seen as simply a blowing session, but the compositions and arrangements of Weiss make it so much more than that… A more dynamic and incisive group of musicians would be hard to find.”
-Scott Albin, JazzTimes

“Weiss, an inclusive and versatile pianist/arranger, much lionized by peers as a formidable jazz composer, has assembled a pride of young musical lions from the burgeoning Portland jazz scene and provided them with the kind of extended landscape for innovative exploration that brings into sharp focus the dynamism, skillful innovation and modernism of great sixties classic sextets: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver.”
-C. J. Bond, JazMuzic.com

“It is clear from the very beginning of this record that pianist Ezra Weiss, its leader, has an extraordinary rapport with his ensemble. Throughout its interesting repertoire the players shape the music in the most convincing way and to maximum expressive effect… Melodies are negotiated with breathtaking motivic beauty. Mr. Weiss’ music becomes more spacious and expressive as the musicians display a profundity that is affecting and so appropriate to the musical stories of each of the tunes.”
-Raul Da Game, jazzdagama.com

“On Before You Know It, pianist / composer Ezra Weiss provides convincing evidence for the continued health and well-being of good old, straight ahead, gimmick-free modern acoustic jazz. The archetype for Weiss’ beefy band and punchy charts would include Art Blakey’s expanded Jazz Messenger lineups, some of McCoy Tyner’s larger groups from the early-to-late 1970s, or perhaps some of Slide Hampton’s septets and octets. Yet, Weiss’ sound is utterly contemporary, exploring a wide variety of modern jazz styles in a consistently appealing fashion.”
-Dave Wayne, All About Jazz


Photography by Vanished Twin
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