James WeidmanJames (*1953 in Youngstown, Ohio) was born into a musical family, learning jazz from his saxophonist-bandleading father at age seven. At 14 he was playing organ in his father's band. Throughout his years at Youngstown State University (graduating cum laude with a degree in classical piano & music education), James divided his time between studies and performance, becoming a first call player. "I've never forgotten my father's advice the first time I ever played with him: 'Keep the time, stay out of the way, and tell a story.'" Weidman's move to the jazz cauldron of New York was inevitable. Not long after relocating he found himself on the bandstand with jazz greats Cecil Payne, Harold Ousley, Bobby Watson, and Pepper Adams, before aligning himself with conceptualist Steve Coleman and the MBase Collective. "Steve's compositions force you to think differently; playing his very demanding rhythms and harmonies is really challenging. It gave me a freer outlook on music." Challenging himself musically continues to be of paramount importance to James. James has benefited greatly from his fertile 35-year partnership with acclaimed saxophonist TK Blue, Randy Weston's longtime musical director. "When I first met TK in 1978 we were both writing and our band Taja was a great laboratory for both of us in terms of trying out our ideas. We continue to constantly challenge each other," says Weidman, "our playing together nowadays is more about intuition than notes. TK is more of a spiritual brother, which takes our learning process to a whole different level," says James. He has been a welcomed presence on myriad bandstands, including the world's major venues and festivals; just a partial listing includes the Montreux, Monterey, Newport, North Sea and JVC Jazz Festivals, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Village Vanguard, Iridium and Jazz Standard.
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Deep Dish Music DD-101
recorded June 1981 in Stroudsburg, PA/USA
Patrick Brennan, alto sax
Marvin Blackman, tenor sax
Fred Parcells, tenor sax, bass trombone
James Weidman, piano, organ
John Loehrke, bass
Dan Spencer, drums
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