Album Reviews

Alex Weitz

Luma

Artist:     Alex Weitz

Album:     Luma

Label:     Self-Released

Release Date:     03.03.2017

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Saxophonist and composer Alex Weitz’ Luma project may only be his second album, but it is a starting point for something special. Weitz is a natural-sounding musician who offers a classic, horn-driven, hard bop approach, combined with grooves, classical underpinnings, and impeccable phrasing. Weitz presents nine originals and significant elements of Luma include expressive musical solos, group listening and well-constructed compositions. He is joined by pianist Tal Cohen, bassist Ben Tiberio, and drummer Michael Piolet who build on their long-term friendship, which manifests in their synergistic rapport in the studio.

Weitz’s rich tone and lyrical phrasing energizes the driving pulse of “Outer Noise.” The melody is strong and lyrical with an interesting harmonic backdrop. The group neatly mingles straight eight funk and a relaxed upbeat jazz swing for the melody, but they settle into a driving swing for the solos. Weitz and Cohen instantly start their rapport, with the two feeding off each other as Weitz builds his solo in intensity and register.

“Equilibrium” allows the ensemble casts to develop a form and melody; Weitz’s composition flows like a narrative that is musical and full of interesting twist and turns. The influence of classical composers can be heard in his development of melody in both his compositions and improvisations by his development of motifs to full musical statements. Weitz’s ability convey emotional impressions creates as very enjoyable musical listen and overall album experience.

—Sylvannia Garutch

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