Born: February 10, 1958
Pianist Michael Weiss, grand prize winner of the 2000 BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute Composers Competition, has established a formidable reputation working with such names as Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer and Wynton Marsalis. In addition to his demand as a sideman, Weiss' role as bandleader, recording artist, composer, arranger and educator have earned him accolades from both audiences and critics: ...one of the most dynamic young pianists in jazz Chicago Tribune ...focuses the intensity of a tune as well as any pianist in mainstream jazz New York Times ...writes with thought-provoking originality JazzTimes ...one of the most dependable pianists on the scene The New Yorker...
AwardsChamber Music America, New Works Grant Reeipient 2003 Thelonious Monk Institute Composition Competition, Grand Prize 2000 Thelonious Monk Institute Piano Competition, Second Prize 1989
“Weiss has a rich palette of composing devices at his command, and his ebullient piano constantly buoys this recording.” Downbeat
“Soul Journey shows contemporary writers and players can play jazz that’s forceful, distinctive and exciting. The music on Soul Journey has warmth, integrity and above all, originality.” JazzTimes
“It’s not often that you find jazz compositions of the caliber that Michael Weiss offers up on Soul Journey. This very special recording goes far beyond your typical mainstream fare. Michael Weiss is a vital talent with something important to say.” All About Jazz
“Well the year is four months away from ending, and I think I’ve comfortably selected my “CD of the Year” already. Soul Journey is about as close to perfection as a recording can get. This should be in everyone’s collection of good contemporary jazz, and if there is truly justice in our world, a Grammy nominee.” Jazz Improv
“This music lives and breathes freshness and exhilarating originality. The individual selections are strong and attractive enough, to still be played as jazz vehicles in 10, 20, or even 50 year”s time.” Jazz Journal
“Unique horn voicings, hard-driving swing, keen balance between melody and improv “ the pianist’s recent Soul Journey was one of 2003”s memorable mainstream discs.” Village Voice
“Weiss’ compositions take on different shapes, great complexity and fresh perspectives.” Washington Post
The songs simply smoke. Detroit Free Press
“an elite pianist who exemplifies the union of style and substance, foraging and dissolving boundaries with missionary zeal and leadership.” Jazz Education Journal “a rich, full-bodied, expressive jazz statement. Soul Journey is downright terrific.” Boston Herald “This music lives and breathes freshness and exhilarating originality. The individual selections are strong enough and attractive enough to still be played as jazz vehicles in 10, 20, or even 50 year”s time.” Jazz Journal
“Weiss gives us perfectly constructed music, well thought out from beginning to end. Firmly in control, he imposes himself, discreetly but effectively, as one of the most interesting pianists in the mainstream. A delight.” Jazz Hot
“This kind of balance between innovation and accessibility is unusual in jazz, and it makes for an extremely interesting and enjoyable listening experience. It is hard to imagine any serious jazz lover not being captivated by this album. Highly recommended.” All Music Guide “Weiss’ commanding presence, formidable technique, total conviction and assured solos constantly impress.” Jazzwise “Leading a superb band, the harmonically daring, lyrical pianist offers a series of brilliantly conceived, masterfully drawn, sonic canvases. It’s yet another current mainstream jazz masterwork.” Highly recommended.” Victoria Times Colonist
“This is an excellent and very satisfying outing, both in its ensemble and solo work. It’s especially good to hear the music presented with such thought and care for the overall effect.” Schenectady Gazette
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