Florian weber - piano & rhodes
donny mccaslin - sax | dan weiss - drums
Criss Cross, the new trio album by German keyboardist Florian Weber, is billed as a tribute to two of the greatest piano minds of the 20th century: Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans. The album's sonic territory a welcome blend of compositions by these piano giants is standard fare. Weber's stylistic approach, however, is anything but. It begins with the album's personnel, which, in addition to Weber, includes the multifaceted drummer Dan Weiss and the boundary- pushing saxophonist Donny McCaslin. The absence of a bassist allows the trio to maneuver through harmonic and stylistic gears with fluid proficiency. Streamlining the dynamic even further, Weber will occasionally pare the group down to a duo, as on Monk's 'Ruby My Dear,' on which Weber and Weiss spar with terse, delicate phrases. As a stylist, Weber falls somewhere in the middle of the Monk-Evans spectrum, with a technique that favors slowly developing left-hand flourishes and an ear that tends toward close harmonic clusters. It's a style that shines brightest when Weber is left to ruminate on his own.