Music » Band of the Week

Ezra Weiss

The Five A.M. Strut (Umoja)

by

comment
Ezra Weiss, a 24-year-old pianist from Phoenix who graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, has released a solid, swinging debut any seasoned jazz artist would be proud of. The memorable tunes span the harmonically inventive, propulsive "Symmetrics"; the goofy, Kurt Weill-influenced "The Clown Feature"; and the elegiac ballad "I Regret."

Weiss is adept on piano and in composition, and he has assembled an expert group: Antonio Hart plays gorgeous alto sax, Kelly Roberge delivers a biting tenor, drummer Billy Hart's grooves recall New Orleans second line and early Horace Silver, and tart young trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman gives the surprisingly distinctive tunes their modern edge.

Weiss has absorbed the lessons of bop: attention to form, interesting and well-placed vamps, and subordination of ego to composition. The way he writes -- passionately, with wit and respect for his fellow musicians -- attests to his talent and appetite for creativity, and suggests a long, enjoyable career.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.