The Wee Trio is: James Westfall (vibes), Dan Loomis (bass) + Jared Schonig (drums)
CD Release Celebrations For Capitol Diner Vol. 2 – Animal Style:
New Orleans: March 4 – Snug Harbor, http://www.snugjazz.com
NYC: March 14 – The Cornelia Street Cafe, http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com
Boston: March 16 – The Beehive, http://www.beehiveboston.com
Philadelphia: March 18 – Chris’s Jazz Café – 8 PM, http://www.chrisjazzcafe.com
Rochester, NY: April 28 – The MCC 41st Annual Jazz Festival
Hailed by critics as “the ambassadors of the genre’s future,” praised for “stirring up jazz you don’t have to be old to enjoy,” and credited for delivering “lightning in a bottle,” The Wee Trio, featuring James Westfall (vibes), Dan Loomis (bass) and Jared Schonig (drums), exploded onto the scene in 2008 with their debut CD, Capitol Diner, Vol. 1 (which brilliantly captured the energy, eclecticism and excellence of the band’s birthplace, Brooklyn, NY). This March the critically-acclaimed Trio releases the much-anticipated follow up recording, Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style, an album that was recorded at Piety Street Studios in New Orleans (studio of choice for Dave Mathews Band, Cassandra Wilson, John Scofield, Harry Connick Jr., etc), but built on the road in California during the band’s tour in support of Vol. 1.
From the “oak tree thick bass” (AAJ NY) of Dan Loomis, the “explosiveness” and “fervent audacity” (Allaboutjazz.com) of Jared Schonig’s drumming to the “fresh excitement” (Icon) and “ultra-chill” (The Boston Herald) of James Westfall’s vibes, the recording has an instantly identifiable sound, and the group’s prodigious rapport is more prevalent then ever. All three members of the Trio contribute tunes to the band’s book, and the album opens with a blistering (two part) tune, “San Fernando, pt. 1” from drummer Jared Schonig (also a classically trained pianist), named after the valley where he’s from. “The Oracle” follows, written by vibist James Westfall after the band had its fortune told by an oracle they met on the streets of New Orleans. Other highlights on Vol. 2 Animal Style include a gorgeous cover of “Avril 14th” (Aphex Twin); the monster, indie-rock jaunt that is “Wherever You Go, There You Are”; “Snow Day”, written during Westfall first-ever snowfall experience (featuring Westfall on mini-Korg, Vocoder & vibes); Schonig’s homage to the modern jazz of our time, “White Out”, based on a 2 bar rhythmic idea that popped into his head one day; and two tunes from bassist Dan Loomis, the Bach-inspired “The Tunnel” (originally titled something offensive), and the chorale “Shepherd”, inspired by a hymn from his childhood, “Shepherd Show Me How To Go” (according to sister Loomis). Throughout this album The Wee Trio is vigorous and sublime. Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style was conceived on the road, and the high energy, joy, anticipation and venturesome spirit of the group pours out of the speakers.
The Wee Trio came together for a seminal first tour in Spring 2007. They had just met on the street in Brooklyn (23rd street in the latest frontier neighborhood being settled by artists – ‘south slope’). It was an unlikely union; Jared grew up in sunny Los Angeles, a child of the valley. Dan came to New York from the heart of the Middle West – St. Louis. James arrived the most circuitously – from Houston via New Orleans, via Los Angeles, where he had just completed study at the Thelonious Monk Institute. By chance they ended up living across the street from one another – so the first rehearsal was easy; James just wheeled his vibes across the street, and a new super-trio was born.
The Trio bonded musically and personally right off the bat. Excited by the chemistry and simpatico of the music from their first tour, the group rushed back to Brooklyn and immediately went into the studio, recording their debut CD in one 4 hour session. Buoyed by the great critical and popular reception of the album, The Wee Trio took flight across the U.S. to spread the word and in turn found inspiration from an unlikely source for Vol. 2; the die-hard surfers of the California coast. Loomis explains, “It is said that they would rise early to ply their trade. When the surfers climbed back to the shore, weary from their labors with nature’s most ferocious forces, they would stumble to In-n-Out Burger and order burgers with a few special ingredients packed with nutrients. These uber-burgers became known in local lore as “Animal Style.” As we traveled the coast bringing jazz to the people every night, we decided that we needed just as much energy as the surfers. We embraced not only the delicious surfer’s treat of “Animal Style” burgers but also the all-in, everything-on-it philosophy that they embodied. This album represents the all-in spirit of Animal Style.”
Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style will be released on March 23, and the band will be launching a nationwide tour in support and celebration of the album – see tour dates below. http://www.theweetrio.com
Press Enquiries about The Wee Trio: contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity: