Mort Weiss – The B3 and Me

Mort Weiss
The B3 and Me
(Sms Jazz – 2007)
by Donald N. Eichelberger

Okay. Truth: I put on this CD out of journalistic obligation, and I was all set to write to my editor and tell him that I couldn’t write anything nice because I’m not usually attracted to any CD that’s full of standards and covers. (My editor says if you can’t write something nice, then don’t write anything at all. After all, we’re trying to lead people to enjoyment!) In addition, when I saw that clarinet would be featured, well, that was just one more reason to relegate this one to the I-can’t-stomach-it bin. But since I’m a fan of Hammond B3 – and especially JoeyD – I thought that I’d give it a cursory listen. (I put on the CD and began perusing my e-mails.)

Then… … WHOA!

“Ornithology” comes jazz-jumpin’ out my speakers, full of hot funkin’ soul. Four bars and I was hooked! Rarity of rarities: Exciting clarinet! Go Mort! I don’t often vary from my practice of writing something about each cut on a CD, so, let me put it this way:

All of the songs on this CD are songs that you’ve heard before; so, strictly in terms of compositions, it’s all very familiar. However, be ready, be very ready to be very pleased to hear some familiar tunes played by some very talented musicians who take these familiar tunes and transport both the tune and you into some fresh, musically rejuvenating territory. (These guys play like a bunch of addicts, addicted to spreading joy-and-happiness through music!)

So, if you’re looking for creative and expressive jazz clarinet (Mort Weiss); fiery and crazy-good Hammond B3 (Joey DeFrancesco); tight and snappy drumming (Byron Landham), and solid guitar playing (Craig Ebner), then look no further, and GET THIS CD!