David Weiss discusses his campaign to gain greater recognition for some journeymen of jazz, America’s unique art form
By MORDECAI SPECKTOR
David Weiss, a talented jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader, is back in New York City, after an “exhausting” European tour with The Cookers, a group of veteran jazz musicians.
The Cookers have been together for seven years, and have released four albums. Their sensational new CD, Time and Time Again (Motéma), will be out next week, ahead of their Sept. 25 performance at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis.
The gig here, the only show by The Cookers in the Midwest, kicks off a two-week U.S. tour promoting the new album.
During a recent phone conversation with the Jewish World, Weiss talked about the top-flight band, his rise in the competitive world of jazz performance, and his mission to bring notice to talented older musicians who often gain acclaim only upon their passing.
The Cookers play the Dakota, Sept. 25
In August, The Cookers played music festivals in France (Jazz in Marciac), Norway and Serbia. It went pretty well — except in Serbia.
“Serbia… it started off like, ‘What’s this?’” Weiss recalls. Then the mood shifted to, “Oh, this is kind of cool” and ended up with “Wait, this is a lot of fun!”
“It was a jazz festival, per se; but we followed a very old, Django [Reinhardt], French hot-jazz thing,” he explains. “And the band after us was a local brass band. So, [The Cookers] was the only acoustic jazz they heard.”
Weiss concludes, regarding the audience in Serbia: “Sometimes it’s them. They’re a little wary about how they’re supposed to be reacting to it… then they lighten up and have a ball.”
The Cookers are (standing, l to r): Donald Harrison, Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee, George Cables; and (front, l to r): Billy Hart and David Weiss.
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