THE COUNTDOWN 2017 | David Weiss & Point Of Departure

Weiss began dabbling with the idea of the Point of Departure band as early as 2004 but began the group in earnest in 2006 when he was offered a regular Thursday night residency at the Greenwich Village club Fat Cat. The regular gig gave Weiss the opportunity to try out many up-and-coming musicians on the scene in various combinations until the personnel became solidified. By the end of the six month run, Weiss felt he had a fully realized new band with a unique sound and approach; a harmonically adventurous band with more of a free approach to the music that could switch grooves from swing to funk to rock in different time signatures on a dime. His original idea for the sound of the band drew on his experiences playing with the Haitian kompa super group Tabou Combo. That band featured two guitarists playing interweaving guitar lines that defined the sound of the band. When the band recorded the horn section, they had the horns record every line twice and one would be panned far left and the other far right creating a unique stereo effect. Weiss thought using two guitarists could make both these concepts work, the interweaving lines and when the guitarists both played chords in unison could achieve a interesting stereo effect. After a few failed attempts during their initial residency, the decision was made to stick to one guitarist until a proper 2nd guitarist was found. When conceptualizing the new CD, the decision was made to attempt the two guitar sound again and this time everything fell into place with two new amazing young guitarists, Ben Eunson and Travis Reuter came aboard. The new CD also stretches the parameters of the original group concept a little by adding material from the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Brazilian avant garde fusion band Grupo Um.

The music seems to shimmer in the air, as Weiss and saxophonist Myron Walden essay the melodies in thoughtful unison and bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Kush Abadey pound the rhythms home. (Stereogum)