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My latest album, “Spiritual Impressions” (Inner Circle Music) will be released in February. The work is a re-imagining of the iconic Negro Spirituals performed in various impressionistic moods and grooves. I am grateful for the wondrous contributions from the beautiful musicians that lent their special voices and creativity to this special project: Ruth Naomi Floyd, voice, Anthony Nelson, tenor, soprano saxophones, bass clarinet and flute, Harvie S, acoustic and electric bass, Vince Ector, drums, djembe, sangba.

Early Reviews:
"Weidman offers solid ideas on how to make old traditional material contemporary. Ruth Naomi Floyd rich vocals help breath new air into old music. Floyd is one of Philadelphia's gems. A fresh jazz interpretation."
- Robert Rusch, Cadence Magazine

"There's a lot going on here in this piano vet's latest. Feeling not quite like cocktail jazz or after-hours jazz, once you get into it, you hear this really is a set of spirituals that have been taken out the back door of the church to where the party is going on. Blowing the dust off of tunes that picked up the dust traveling on the Underground Railroad, this is a dandy ear opener that'll make you think as well as listen."
- Chris Spector, Midwest Record

"Weidman and his ensemble pay tribute to a difficult time in American history on "Spiritual Impressions." The group makes the songs sound contemporary without forgetting about their original purpose."
- Dodie Gould Miller, Lemonwire

You can listen to sample clips and pre-order “Spiritual Impressions” ​here. ​

In celebration of Black History Month and the recording release, The Spiritual Impressions Ensemble will be performing a series of concerts throughout the area.

Biography


Pianist James Weidman is indisputably an essential addition to whatever bandstand he graces. A partial list of Weidman's affiliations is staggering in depth & breadth: Max Roach, Woody Herman, Archie Shepp, James Moody, Greg Osby, Bobby Hutcherson, Slide Hampton, Jay Hoggard, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Gloria Lynne, Dakota Staton, MBase Collective, Cassandra Wilson, TK Blue (co-leader of Taja), Abbey Lincoln, Ruth Naomi Floyd (Producer), Kevin Mahogany (Music Director), Joe Lovano, Marty Ehrlich and Ray Anderson. That list includes several NEA Jazz Masters, musical trailblazers, and great singers; relationships requiring both the skilled touch of an adept soloist as well as superior accompaniment expertise. The gifted Mr. Weidman has it all. Adroit in myriad styles, Weidman's resourcefulness has served him well. "The more genres you're comfortable with, the deeper your understanding of music," is how Weidman characterizes his broad range of associations. Such versatility has helped Weidman develop his brilliant technique and, as his mantra to his students at William Paterson University suggests, "the better your technique, the better your communication." However, the content of that communication is the most important thing. "You're really telling a story to your audience," he says. "It's a shared journey. That's why I called my first solo album People Music, because we are all supposed to share this music."

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Weidman was born into a musical family, learning jazz from his saxophonist-bandleading father at age seven. At 14 he was playing organ in his father's band. Throughout his years at Youngstown State University (graduating cum laude with a degree in classical piano & music education), Weidman divided his time between studies and performance, becoming a first call player. "I've never forgotten my father's advice the first time I ever played with him: 'Keep the time, stay out of the way, and tell a story.'" Weidman's move to the jazz cauldron of New York was inevitable. Not long after relocating he found himself on the bandstand with jazz greats Cecil Payne, Harold Ousley, Bobby Watson, and Pepper Adams, before aligning himself with conceptualist Steve Coleman and the MBase Collective. "Steve's compositions force you to think differently; playing his very demanding rhythms and harmonies is really challenging. It gave me a freer outlook on music." Challenging himself musically continues to be of paramount importance to Weidman. James Weidman has benefited greatly from his fertile 35-year partnership with acclaimed saxophonist TK Blue, Randy Weston's longtime musical director. "When I first met TK in 1978 we were both writing and our band Taja was a great laboratory for both of us in terms of trying out our ideas. We continue to constantly challenge each other," says Weidman, "our playing together nowadays is more about intuition than notes. TK is more of a spiritual brother, which takes our learning process to a whole different level," says Weidman. James Weidman has been a welcomed presence on myriad bandstands, including the world's major venues and festivals; just a partial listing includes the Montreux, Monterey, Newport, North Sea and JVC Jazz Festivals, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Village Vanguard, Iridium and Jazz Standard.

Itinerary


1/26/2018
James Weidman Aperturistic Trio
The Top of the Standard
New York, NY

2/2/2018
James Weidman Trio featuring Tulivu|The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook
East Meadow Library
East Meadow, NY

2/6-2/10/2018
Joe Lovano Us Five Featuring James Weidman, Esperanza Spalding, Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III
Birdland Jazz Club
New York, NY

2/11/2018
Jay Hoggard
PJS Jazz Society (at First Presbyterian Church)
Mt. Vernon NY

2/17/2018
James Weidman Spiritual Impressions
Senate Garage
Kingston, NY

2/24/2018
James Weidman Spiritual Impressions
Jazz in the Sanctuary, Shiloh Baptist Church
Plainfield, NJ

3/3/2018
James Weidman Spiritual Impressions
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
2:00 pm
New York, NY

3/3/2018
Paul Abler CD release " Ascending"
Trumpet's
Montclair, NJ

3/9/2018
James Weidman Aperturistic Trio
The Sound Bite
New York, NY

3/16/2018
Marty Ehrlich "Philosophy of A Groove"
Firehouse 12
New Haven, CT

3/21/2018
Marty Ehrlich "Philosophy of A Groove"
Pioneer Valley JazzShares
Hampshire College
Amherst MA

5/31/2018
Marty Ehrlich "Philosophy of A Groove"
The Stone at the New School
New York, NY

Contact


James Weidman
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