“The Wee’s got its own potent flavor, one that combines a heady blend of modernly attuned composition and robust trio symmetry.” ” . . . The trio throws down hip-hopped beats, intensely swinging bop, or poignant vignettes – all with ease . . . Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style is a breath of fresh air from an exciting group . . .” – Mark Turner, Allaboutjazz.com
“. . . another helping of inventive, indie rock-flavored jazz.”
– The Philadelphia Daily News
THE WEE TRIO To Play Music From
Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style
Aboard The ROCKS OFF CONCERT CRUISE
When: Friday, April 30, 2010 (Boards: 7:00pm / Departs: 8:00 PM)
What: Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aboard The Jewel
Where: E. 23rd St. & FDR Dr.
TKTS are $10
The Wee Trio is:
James Westfall (vibes)
Dan Loomis (bass)
Jared Schonig (drums)
Other CD Release Celebrations For Capitol Diner Vol. 2 – Animal Style:
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 released 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.
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 was released on March 23
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More on The Wee Trio:
While rooted in Jazz The Wee Trio finds ways to break boundaries encompassing their other roots in rock and fusion. Each member is a leader in their own right and their respective recordings show the legacy of their visionary bandleading. Together as The Wee Trio, James Westfall, Dan Loomis and Jared Schonig represent one of the highly-creative groups pushing jazz and improvised music in exciting and innovative new directions.
“a winning debut” “as true to the jazz tradition as it is to their freewheeling tastes.” – The Boston Globe
“One of the year’s most riveting albums . . .” – The Patriot Ledger
“an immediate musical simpatico” – The New Orleans Times Picayune
“How exciting, you might ask, can a vibes/bass/drum trio be? Well listen to these three and you’ll find out.” – The Buffalo News
“With James Westfall’s vibes in the forefront, the group has a fresh sound, and bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig flow like the tides. Wee’s sound is not wee, it’s huge” – The San Francisco Chronicle
“the Wee Trio have found a unique slant, not only in their vibes/bass/drums instrumentation but in their lyrical songwriting and flowing interaction.”- The Philly Daily News
“Bulging with even more muscular jazz chops than the Bad Plus but displaying more earthbound taste than the late, lamented E.S.T., the Brooklyn-based Wee Trio makes a larger than wee splash on its debut.” – The Boston Herald
“The Wee Trio is capable of a full, powerful sound, streams of furiously articulated lines and fills” – About.com
“Intriguing combination of which to my knowledge there’s no peer in jazz, or any other kind of music” – BlogCritics.com