Ezra Weiss

Persephone – Press Quotes

“Weiss is representative of a postmodern generation of young composers for the small jazz ensemble (Ryan Cohan, John Hollenbeck, Anthony Wilson are others) that is interested in going beyond the head-solos-head format to more elaborately developed forms.”
-Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes

“Two pianist-composers who lead small bands – Randy Weston, a veteran jazz master who grew up in the bebop era, and Ezra Weiss, who’s still in his twenties – are responsible for this month’s winning spins. Despite their obvious differences, both have forged highly personal styles for themselves and their groups.”
-George Kanzler, Hot House Jazz

“The album has a fine balance, the brighter tunes bringing in a surge of joy, the darker ones not clouding the horizon but revealing some fine material that draws the listener into its pith.”
-Jerry D’Souza, AllAboutJazz.com

“As a writer, pianist Weiss, not yet 30, has a distinctive persona, bop-rooted but with a contemporary perspective. His attractive, deceptively simple pieces have character, the ensemble voicings beautifully balanced, the performances’ proportions right; nothing’s overdone. . . . It’s his writing which lifts this fine session to another level.”
-Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times

“The title track is totally gorgeous. . . . Both drummers (who alternate tracks) are more than just time-keepers, and they ensure that Weiss’ compositions have that element of strong swing that eludes some classical/jazz mix efforts. Sonics are also first rate.”
-John Sunier, Audiophile Audition

“On his new album, ‘Persephone’ (Umoja), the pianist Ezra Weiss proves himself a confident composer and arranger in the progressive mainstream.”
-Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Some of the finest (& most intricate/inspiring) jazz you’ll hear in 2005 is on this new CD. . . . Mr. Weiss ‘digs deep’, exploring territory that blues may once have inhabited, but keeps his compositions firmly rooted in jazz forms! I rate this as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who wants to hear what ‘tomorrow’s music’ is going to sound like.”
-Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation

“Ezra Weiss’ second studio album shifts with as much light and color as an autumn landscape shrouded by the rays of a harvest moon.”
-Celeste Sunderland, All About Jazz New York

”[Weiss] is aware that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts which is the essence of good classical chamber music playing and great small group jazz playing as well. It’s ultimately also the essence of being a good composer too.”
-Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox.org

“Persephone is a release that should be heard by everyone, but especially by those who believe and say, ‘Today’s musicians are just playing the same old stuff.’ I say, ‘Oh yeah? Listen to Ezra Weiss.’”
-Dick Bogle, The Skanner

“There are sessions that ‘sound like’ iconic Blue Note and Prestige sessions, while others are like them. Pianist Ezra Weiss’ Persephone clearly belongs in the latter category. . . . This is DARN good stuff, fans – bright, not just ‘straight-ahead’ but looking-ahead hard bop played with humble spirit and sparkling élan.”
-Mark Keresman, JazzReview.com

“This is a composer’s pensive set, with empathic, superlatively accomplished players. It makes me long to hear these guys jam after hours. Ambitions to record a set entirely of new originals always should be informed by this much thought.”
-Robert R. Calder, AllAboutJazz.com

“I didn’t see this remarkable CD on anybody’s “best of” list, and yet it stands as a perfect statement on how young musicians are dealing with the past to ‘make it new.’. . . Weiss sparkles on piano throughout–amazingly so, considering the grand melodies and full arrangements.”
-Thomas Staudter, The Gazette

“Don’t be fooled. He’s only playing a few notes, but boy they’re the right ones.”
-Neil Tesser and Mark Ruffin, Listen Here! Radio

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-Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


Photography by Vanished Twin
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