Venture Inward (Posi-Tone; 2013)
Nir Felder (guitar)
Luques Curtis (bass)
Jamire Williams (drums)
J.D. Allen (sax)
Venture Inward is an interesting third outing from David Weiss' quintet, Point of Departure. Technically, in recording order, this would actually be the first Point of Departure album. The album features the studio versions of tracks that would later be performed on the live albums, Snuck In and Snuck Out. It's still a solid release that is worth every bit of the money. And real document of the organics that the group is and would result in their later live dates.
While the four tracks that would be featured in the live dates have the same vibe here in the studio; it might be "Snuck In" that feels slightly different. This studio version opens with Felder's guitar lines instead of the ferocity of Weiss' trumpet. But the energy of the performance is still there but a little subdued. This gives the piece a little bit more depth and allows you to focus more on the interaction between the members.
"Venture Inward" and "Pax" both classic Andrew Hill tunes illustrate the desire that Weiss has to re-invigorate and educate jazz fans about hard bop. The group expresses some colourful tones throughout "Venture Inward." On "Pax" you can almost feel a note for note annotation but with real reverence.
David Weiss & Point Of Departure is one of those groups that Weiss uses to explore the more raw and free form elements of jazz history. He seems to be doing an extremely excellent job with this group. Let's hope they stay together. Point Of Departure are giving a superb jazz history lesson with Venture Inward.