Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Weiss, David (A.)

Weiss, David (A.), trumpeter, composer, arranger; b. New York City, 21 October 1964. Began piano lessons at the age of ten and trumpet lessons at the age of 14. Began to study with Carmine Caruso and John McNeil in his late teens and attended North Texas State University (B.A. in Music Performance 1986). The trumpeter, composer, and arranger has had the opportunity to learn from some of the music's quintessential figures. Weiss was born in New York City, but began his musical studies in earnest by attending North Texas State University. He graduated in 1986 and returned to New York. He soon found work with Jaki Byard, Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath and began to study with fellow trumpeters Tommy Turrentine and Bill Hardman. He also attended Barry Harris' weekly workshops, a valuable learning experience for Weiss and an opportunity for him to play with Mr. Harris and Walter Davis Jr.  Weiss also began leading the "After Hours" jam session with many of the up and coming musicians of the day including Stephen Scott, Winard Harper, Leon Parker, Sam Newsome, Justin Robinson and Rodney Kendrick.  Among the musicians he performed with during his tenure were Roy Hargrove, Clifford Jordon, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Watts, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green, and Billy Hart.

In 1990, Weiss formed a band with tenor saxophonist Craig Handy and began performing in various clubs around New York. The bands various personnel included Benny Green, Stephen Scott, or Dave Kikoski on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Billy Hart or Jeff Watts on drums. Weiss also assisted Handy with music to the NBC series "The Cosby Mysteries" and arranged the main theme for the show. Weiss began getting more calls for his arranging and transcribing skills. His arrangements/transcriptions have appeared on over 80 CDs. Highlights include CDs by Abbey Lincoln, Freddie Hubbard, and Rodney Kendrick, Alto Legacy with Phil Woods, Vincent Herring, and Antonio Hart. Weiss also arranged the music and performed on a series of tribute concerts to trumpet greats Freddie Hubbard, Booker Little, and Lee Morgan at Birdland in New York City. The personnel included fellow trumpeters Nicholas Payton, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, Terell Stafford, Brian Lynch, Eddie Henderson, and Claudio Roditi and rhythm section greats Pete LaRoca, Jimmy Cobb, and Idris Muhammad.

In 1996, recognizing a lack of serious new jazz writing, Weiss recruited some young, first-call New York musicians and composers to form the New Jazz Composers Octet.  Weiss first developed an interest in writing for octet while arranging a couple of Freddie Hubbard compositions.

2003 found Weiss touring the world with Freddie Hubbard and the New Jazz Composers Octet and with the trumpet summit band "Trumpet Legends at 65" a tribute to Freddie Hubbard, Booker Little and Lee Morgan featuring Nicholas Payton, Terell Stafford, and Tom Harrell.

New Jazz Composers Octet: First Steps into Reality (1998), Walkin' the Line (2001); Breathing Room (2001)

As sideperson:
Bob Belden: Prince Jazz (1993), Shades of Red  (1995); NY Funk All-Stars: Hip Hop Bop (1995); Bop City: Hip Strut (1996); Tom Harrell Big Band: Time's Mirror  (1999); Freddie Hubbard and The New Jazz Composers Octet: New Colors (2000)

As arranger:
Rodney Kendrick: Dance World Dance (1993); Freddie Hubbard: M.M.T.C. (1994); Rodney Kendrick: Last Chance For Common Sense (1995); Alto Legacy: Alto Summit (1995); Bheki Mseleku: Beauty of the Sunrise  (1995); Tim Hagans/Marcus Printup: Hubsongs (1997); Various Artists: Haunted Melodies, The Songs of Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1998); Abbey Lincoln: Over the Years  (2000)

As producer:
New Jazz Composers Octet: First Steps into Reality (1998); Gregory Tardy: The Hidden Light  (1999); Ralph Peterson: Back to Stay (1999); Mark Gross: Riddle of the Sphinx (1999); Rodney Whitaker: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow  (1999); Marcus Strickland: At Last  (2000); Freddie Hubbard and The New Jazz Composers Octet: New Colors  (2000); Jeremy Pelt: Profile  (2001); Myron Walden: Higher Ground (2001); Xavier Davis: Innocence of Youth (2001); New Jazz Composers Octet: Walkin' the Line  (2001); Marcus Strickland: Brotherhood (2002); Robert Glasper: Mood  (2002)

Down Beat May 2003
Jazziz March 2003
Down Beat July 2002


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