This week, let's check out some new music from The Wee Trio, who will be in St. Louis to perform in a free concert next Thursday, November 3 for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.
Featuring St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, James Westfall on vibraphone, and Jared Schonig on drums, the group is touring in support of their latest album Wee + 3, which was released in late September. The "+ 3" in the title refers to the addition of three guest musicians - pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Nir Felder, and trumpeter Nicholas Payton - for the first time on any of their recordings.
You can see the "electronic press kit" for Wee + 3 in the embedded window up above. After the jump, there are videos featuring performances of five of the songs from the album, four of which were recorded simultaneously with the audio at Systems 2 Studio in Brooklyn, NY.
The first two tracks, Westfall's composition "Titan Up" and Schonig's "Climb," feature Almazan. Felder joins the group next for "Gibbs Street," another Schonig composition, which is followed by the trio without guest musicians playing Schonig's "Sound Evidence".
Last but not least, there's a live version of another Schonig tune, "Sabotage," that was recorded by an audience member during the group's last visit to St. Louis at a concert in September 2013 at Chaminade College Preparatory School. While the new studio recording features Payton on trumpet, this performance shows that the tune works with just the three core members, too.
(As it happens, the title of "Sabotage" has a St. Louis connection, too, originating when The Wee Trio recorded a live album in 2013 at Jazz at the Bistro. In the press release for Wee + 3, Loomis explains, “The second night of the recording we went to play our first set only to discover (mid-song!!) that the microphone cables had been cut!! We never found the culprit but clearly someone set out to sabotage the band! Thus Jared had a title for his new song.")