Ezra Weiss

The Five A.M. Strut – Press Quotes

“This is not only a great first outing but also one of the more enjoyable recordings of the year. We can only hope that Weiss can keep the standard this high for many years to come.”
-Duck Baker, JazzTimes

“Portland, Ore.-based pianist Ezra Weiss plays and writes with such remarkable forethought and reach on The Five A.M. Strut, it’s sobering to think that this was recorded just a year after he finished school.”
-Greg Buium, Downbeat

“The Five A.M. Strut is out of this world…”
-Steve Morse and Steve Greenlee, The Boston Globe

* * * * *
-Dick Bogle, The Skanner

“Rarely does a young graduate of a jazz-studies program show the kind of maturity and imagination Ezra Weiss does in The Five A.M. Strut. The 23-year-old pianist has put together an expert band to play an all-original set that sparkles throughout.”
-Jay Harvey, The Indianapolis Star

“This sextet date shows Weiss to be a triple threat; he is skillful as a pianist (Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, and Cedar Walton are obvious pianistic influences) and he is also talented as a bandleader/arranger and a composer.”
-Alex Henderson, Allmusic.com

“Newcomer Ezra Weiss, a pianist/composer, comes out of the gates blazing on this sextet recording…. An auspicious debut from the young pianist/composer.”
-Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“For a jazz piano debut CD collection, this is a knockout of a winner…. Every musician in this collection is topnotch. Every solo is flawless. If you want to hear one of the finest young jazz pianists to come along in a while, catch the debut CD by Ezra Weiss.”
-Lee Prosser, Jazzreview.com

“It’s hard to pin down what makes Weiss’ music so distinctive. Perhaps it’s that even in the ballads, the tone is upbeat, the outlook positive. The way Weiss writes – passionately, wittily and with respect for his fellow musicians – attests to his talent and appetite for creativity, and suggests a long, enjoyable career.” -Carlo Wolff, Metroland and Cleveland Scene

“Weiss grew up listening to the likes of Ray Charles, Cannonball Adderly and Carmen McRae, and his music reflects both the soulfulness such influences would suggest and a knack for tart harmonies and clever, eclectic twists.”
-Marty Hughley, The Oregonian

“Richly evocative and set in extended forms, reminding one at times of Duke Pearson, tunes like ‘One for Wendell,’ ‘A Time for Healing’ and ‘I Regret’ are possessed of a heartfelt urgency all too rare in an artist his age.”
-Tim DuRoche, Willamette Week

“A sextet with a sexy jazz spirit that woke me up about as well as the ‘spresso did…. Absolutely tight playing, from cover-to-cover… fans the world over will dig this.”
-Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation

“While many of the tunes are very melodic, I especially dug ‘The Clown Feature’ – which Weiss originally wrote for a student circus and which reminded me of the San Francisco-based former circus band Kamikazi Ground Crew.”
-John Henry, Audiophile Audition

“Taking full advantage of the tethered freedom offered jazz by the second great Miles Davis Quintet, Mr. Weiss aggressively addresses the hard bop/post bop paradox with confidence and finesse. This is the assertive spirit, characteristic of the youthful Weiss, which permeates this recording.”
-C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

“If jazz is to escape the iron grip of traditionalists who buy only records with piles of harmonic scales swirling around faux-bop riffs on forgettable tunes that lack any melodic suspense, the research and development that musicians like Weiss are doing is essential.”
-Chuck Graham, The Tucson Citizen

“He’s a thoughtful writer of tunes, which are always a little dark around the edges, even the bumptious title-track; they come across as highly personal statements…”
-Nate Dorward, Cadence


Photography by Vanished Twin
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