Mort Weiss is a bebop-oriented clarinet player with ten albums as leader to date. After having taken 30-odd years off from playing, Weiss came to musical life as a leader in 2003 with The Mort Weiss Quartet (AKA Mort Wiess Meets Joey DeFrancesco) (SMS Jazz, 2003) following with B3 and Me (recorded in 2003 but not released until 2006). According to jazz writer Scott Yanow, Clarinet-organ groups are far from common. In fact, prior to Mort Weiss' debut CD with organist Joey DeFrancesco, it is possible that combination had never been utilized before. Indeed, but this didn't stop Weiss and DeFrancesco from doing so.
Born in 1935 in Pennsylvania, Weiss began clarinet lessons when he was nine-years old. After moving with his family to Los Angeles, he continued playing classical music, and during his teens studied with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra's esteemed clarinetist, Antonio Remondi. After graduation and a year at the Westlake School of Music, the precocious teenaged Weiss soloed on several T.V. programs with the Freddie Martin Orchestra, a.k.a. The Band of Tomorrow.
Weiss' exposure to jazz began with Dixieland. But, when he first heard a Charlie Parker record, that was when he was hooked. He frequented jazz clubs, participating in after- hours jam sessions, and spending many hours in the woodshed honing his craft. Be bop clarinetist Buddy DeFranco became his idol