The sextet and octet of David Weiss hit hard on his second Fresh Sound New Talent album, The Mirror. This album is a mixture of lyrical soloists, beautiful arrangements, and a lot of great bop. The outcome is a musical masterpiece which impacts the mind, never wanting the music to end. The trumpeter/composer works wonders on each song. The songs were inspired by the works of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Though the songs weren’t made specifically for the movie, it did help Weiss to create magic.
The album is divided by the first five tracks as a sextet and the final two as an octet. The opening track, "Stalker", is an uptempo number with fiery tunes. It then leads into the title track, "The Mirror", which is a midtempo tune with great solos. These first two tracks set the flavor for the rest of the album. The mood then begins to change a bit on the last two tracks, as the New Jazz Composers’ Octet is led by Weiss. The trombone of Steve Davis and the bass clarinet of Norbet Stachel are added to create the full sound of the octet. The first track for the octet is "Love Letter To One Not Yet Met". It is an emotional and lyrical experience that is held on with casual swing. The final track, "Mr. Jin", is another for the octet. It is a straightforward swing with a big band sound.
This album is filled with great tunes and great solos. It is intelligently put together and lyrical in every sense. Weiss takes his time and plays the music in a manor that is actually heard and felt by the listener. It’s versatility and musical expertise make this album pure enjoyment.