ALEX WEITZ

Post Bop • United States
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Saxophonist and composer Alex Weitz began his career in Arizona as a member of the award-winning Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band, versing himself in the music of its namesake and the classic repertoire of Count Basie. This foundation in swing distinguished him early on as an artist who knows that, to architect a sustainable future, one must mine raw materials from the past. Tapping the roots of tradition in the Southwest gave him more than enough minerals to sustain his relocation to the Southeast, where he studied at the prestigious University of Miami Frost School of Music. While there, he completed his undergraduate studies in Jazz Saxophone Performance and graduate studies in Studio Jazz Writing, gaining invaluable mentorship and experience as a member of the Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Septet under famed trumpeter Terence Blanchard. ​ With Blanchard’s encouragement, Weitz strengthened his personal voice, and then some, emerging from the Miami read more...
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LumaLuma
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ALEX WEITZ Discography

ALEX WEITZ albums / top albums

ALEX WEITZ Chroma album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chroma
Post Bop 2013
ALEX WEITZ Luma album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Luma
Post Bop 2017

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ALEX WEITZ Reviews

ALEX WEITZ Luma

Album · 2017 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Carmel
Though Arizona is not known as a mecca for jazz, in comparison to New York, Washington DC, or even the birthplace of jazz, the south. There still seems to be a thirst for jazz in the desert. Young tenor saxophonist Alex Weitz, cut his teeth on jazz in his home town of Tucson, as a member of the award-winning Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band. It was his trek to the southernmost region of Florida that rounded this young saxophonist, where he studied at the respected University of Miami Frost School of Music and completed his undergraduate studies in Jazz Saxophone Performance and graduate studies in Studio Jazz Writing.

At such a young age, what is it that makes this young saxophonist stand out? I have to say it is his tone, first and foremost, and the relaxed delivery, not usually indicative of such a young saxophonist. It is further quite surprising to see this is not Weitz first album, but indeed his sophomore effort. Like Chroma, his previous recording, Weitz exhibits a maturity in his playing. Particularly what is stunning about Luma his latest release, which ironically means the brightness in an image, as opposed to the saturation or chroma, is the introspective growth of Weitz’ playing.

Standout tracks for me are the darkly hued “Outer Noise,” that offers a prophetic journey through colorizations, by pianist Tal Cohen, and restless jabs and swing that add to the energy of the track by drummer Michael Piolet and the interactive swinging bass line by bassist, Ben Tiberio. Weitz is up to the task, with riveting lines and a huge warm sound that is centrically focused and cleanly unaffected. It was one of the things I most appreciated about Sonny Stitt was his tone, and Weitz is certainly squarely in this realm.

The title track is delicately approached a gorgeous ballad, and Weitz offers up a restrained beauty that is emotive and his use of controlled dynamics adds to the illumination of the track. Cohen and Weitz bend and curve together in an interactive conversational way, all the while Weitz uses the full range of his horn. Bottom notes are dug into with warmth and top notes gently touched with soft flourishes by both Cohen and Weitz that create a crystalline beauty all around.

“Equilibrium” is aptly titled, Tiberio creates a loping bass line, while Piolet and Cohen create sweet chaos under Weitz, flowing and building in intensity with his lines to a climatic solo section, where we are treated to the sheer muscularity that Weitz has to offer in his playing style. He is well versed in his stylistic palette, it is nice to hear him really stretch to the edge on this tune.

For me, Weitz has a lot of surprises to offer in his arsenal of skills. His ideas are fluid, his abilities top-notch and he is joined by an equally fervent cast that create a lasting recording in the evolution of Alex Weitz, who I hope to see build as prolific of a discography as the aforementioned Stitt.

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