WBGO Radar

Walt Weiskopf: The Way You Say It

Walt Weiskopf, the way you say it, saxophone, jazz, wbgo, radar, exclusive

What is it that drives saxophonist Walt Weiskopf? It's all about the music, all about the sound. His new recording, "The Way You Say It" employs instrumentation to explore a wide vocabulary of styles and sounds. With organist Brian Charette, vibraphonist Behn Gillece and drummer Mark Fidyk, Weiskopf expresses a clear and straightforward message with technical precision and creative background that's had him with working in the big bands of Buddy Rich and Toshiko Akiyoshi, and touring the world with Frank Sinatra, Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs, and his current long-running gig with Steely Dan.

Of his own music, Weiskopf is inspired by family, and friends like Michael Brecker. His previous recordings have been on top ten lists, and have produced accolades like "consummate saxophonist, composer and arranger, with chops aplenty, great ideas and a strong emotional base to pull it off."

The choice to once again visit the organ based sound refreshes a concept last heard on his 1993 Criss Cross recording, "A World Away". The smoke heard on "The Way You Say It" mirrors the concept but not the sound, as we are taken along for his fresh ride through his bopish "Coffee and Scones", full of the color and form that has attracted so many to his playing, the plaintive feel of "Separation", a fast festive nod with "Inntoene", the floating "Dreamlining", or the barn burning blues with a bridge "Blues Combination", all originals featured here. There's also a Ray Charles inspired take on "Candy", showing the nice interplay with Charette's organ grooves.

We also get a Weather Report update with "Scarlet Woman", originally from "Mysterious Traveler", and a half-step update on Weiskopf's favorite Charlie Parker tune, "Segment".

A with the title track tribute to his wife, Marcie, Walt says, "she has the most pleasing, inviting, tuneful way of expressing herself. This always reminds me - it's not just what you play, it's how you play it; not just what you say - it's The Way You Say It".

"The Way You Say It" from Walt Weiskopf comes out April 15th from Posi-tone Records.

- Gary Walker, Morning Jazz

Checkout more WBGO Radar...