The World Poetry Cafe radio show, CFRO, 100.5 FM on November 14, 1:30 pm PST,celebrated Ezra Weiss with his new CD We Limit Not the Truth of God.
Featuring a brilliant 17-piece big band that includes such distinctive soloists as saxophonists John Nastos, Rob Davis, Renato Caranto and Mieke Bruggeman; trumpeters Farnell Newton, Derek Sims and Thomas Barber; trombonists Stan Bock and Jeff Uusitalo; and flutist John Savage, the album was recorded live in the resonant Alberta Abbey, a historic church turned performance space in Weiss’ hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Weiss tries to make sense of a divided world on this stirring and impassioned suite addressed to his young children. It’s a heartbreakingly confessional work that’s both a loving message passed down from father to children as well as a profound and deeply felt plea for togetherness and empathy. I found this CD fascinating since it also contains Ezra doing spoken word which adds to the depth of the CD.
E-poets, Bozena Helena Mazur-Nowak, Poland and England and Pieter-Joris Morssink , Australia, and a new story by Sharon Rowe called Big Bessie Ends the Strike. A capsule of the Brain Bulletin Series plus news completed the show.
Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss is “a bold, inspired figure in the contemporary jazz arranging scene.” (DownBeat) He has released six albums as a bandleader: The Five A.M. Strut (2003), Persephone (2005), Get Happy (2007), The Shirley Horn Suite (2010), Our Path To This Moment (2012), and Before You Know It [Live in Portland] (2014). All of these CD’s have received substantial national and international acclaim from the press, and have spent significant time on the JazzWeek Radio Charts.
Additionally, Ezra composed the music for the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble’s multimedia concert and recording, From Maxville To Vanport (2018). He also wrote the big band arrangements for Derek Hines’ recording The Long Journey Home (2017), which led to the formation of the Ezra Weiss Big Band.
Ezra currently leads his own big band and sextet, performing at major jazz festivals and clubs throughout the U.S., including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, the 55 Bar, and Tonic in NYC; Ryles in Boston; Nighttown in Cleveland; Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia; The Triple Door in Seattle; Jimmy Mak’s in Portland; and the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. His bands have featured such luminaries as trumpeters Michael Philip Mossman, Peter Evans, and Farnell Newton; saxophonists Antonio Hart, Vincent Herring, Mark Gross, and Dayna Stephens; bassists Corcoran Holt, Ameen Saleem, and Curtis Lundy; and drummers Kassa Overall, Steve Williams, Jason Brown, and Billy Hart (for whom Ezra also served as arranger), among others. He also co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City.
Further, Ezra has composed music and lyrics to three children’s musicals: Alice in Wonderland: a Jazz Musical (2009) Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2010), and Cinderella (2013). All of these musicals were designed to expose young children to jazz. Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella were each named one of the Top 10 Cast Albums of 2009 and 2013 respectively by Talkin Broadway.com.
Ezra has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category. He holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters in Jazz Piano Performance from Queens College. His teachers have included Wendell Logan, Neal Creque, and Bruce Barth. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches at Portland State University. Source: Braitewaite and Katz with thanks.
Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café radio show, 100.5 FM CFRO is honoured to welcome two wonderful writers, poets and authors. Calling in at 1:10 pm PST is the author, historian and archivist Donna Jean MacKinnon! Calling in from New Westminster is the amazing Ruth Kozak who will be talking about her latest trip to Greece! I will be promoting them separately. Also, opening poems by Malik Ahmed, Vancouver and Pieter-Joris Morssink, Australia A new story by Sharon Rowe is also featured read by Victor Shwartzman .
Ruth Kozak is a Canadian travel journalist and writer with a strong interest in history and archaeology. A frequent traveler, Ruth lived for several years in Greece and instructs classes in travel journalist and creative writing. A travel writer since 1982, she is a regular contributor to EuropeUpClose www.europupclose.com . Ruth also edits and publishes her own on-line travel zine at www.travelthruhistory.com She has been published in the APA Insight Guides 1994, Writer’s Abroad anthology “Foreign Flavours” and recently “Limitless” as well as three poetry anthologies. Her ATHENS AND BEYOND e-book for Hunter Publishing, US was published in Nov 2015.
Ruth’s first historical fiction novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON (Volume One) was published July 2014 by www.mediaaria-cdm.com UK. Volume Two, BLOOD ON THE MOON: THE FIELDS OF HADES was published in December 2016. These are her first published literary works. Research was done in Greece and with the help of the Vancouver Greek Consul, the Ministry of Culture, Greece and the Society of Macedonian Studies, Thessaloniki, as well as help from various Classical scholars, and the Finnish Institute and Norwegian Institutes of Athens. Recently the full version of SHADOW OF THE LION has been put on Kindle ebooks.
Ruth is a member of the Royal City Literary Arts Society and is president of the BC Association of Travel Writers.
Ariadne’s Notes?:The World Poetry Café radio show, 100.5 FM CFRO on Nov.7 is honoured to welcome two wonderful writers, poets and authors. Calling in at 1:10 pm PST is the author, historian and archivist Donna Jean MacKinnon! Calling in from New Westminster is the amazing Ruth Kozak who will be talking about her latest trip to Greece! I will be promoting them separately. Also, opening poems by Malik Ahmed, Vancouver and Pieter-Joris Morssink, Australia . A new Big Bessie story by Sharon Rowe read by Victor Shwartzman was also featured .
A young poet and writer who wants to bring the old history from Dubai wrote in to ask our guests about suggestions. He felt that there was a lot of attention on the future but not as much on bringing the past to life. Dubai is our 129 the country that listens in at times!
“I am working on a local historical novel set in Vancouver 1884-1913 – a woman’s story because so much of what there is in local historical lore is male-oriented. The poem just came out of me one night after I’d been working on my manuscript and had gotten to a new phase/realization.. I’m very humbled by the form of the novel as well – but am enjoying the process immensely. . . https://historicalresearch.blog
Revise Revise Revise
a bed sheet fresh from the line
snaking out above the yard.
I grab it by two corners and
Shake out the wrinkles
Trying to get it to
A smooth logic to gain dominion over
The peaks and valleys of redundancy
actions and characters that don’t work or fit
To find the fabric of its logic
Or maybe it’s more like making toffee
twisting and turning
Creating a heat of its own
A shape of its own
Seeing what sticks and solidifies
Never mind the polishing yet to come
The burnishing stone I need
To smooth out the sharp angles
Edges too jarring
Characters too simple
To bring out the lustre
To make it shine and sparkle
To emulate the masters
Who so humble me in this endeavor
To shape and nurture
To give the story life
By Donna Jean MacKinnon (C), Vancouver B.C. Canada. All rights reserved.