The Wee Trio
Jazz, Instrumental, Indie, Indie Rock
The Bad Plus, David Bowie
The Wee Trio - "Joining the Bad Plus and the Leviathan Brothers, @weetrois are stirring up jazz you don't have to be old to enjoy" - #CyberPR
"Refreshing...no one-note jam band...intelligent, highly interactive tracks..."
"These players share a marvelous sense of artistry, where everything they do shines with purpose and precision"
"The Wee Trio have found a unique slant, ont only in their vibes/bass/drums instrumentation but in their lyrical songwriting and flowing interaction"
The Philly Daily New
"As true to the jazz tradition as it is to their freewheeling tastes"
The Boston Globe
"The world's most vicious vibes-led threesome"
About The Wee Trio
Roughly one year ago, guitarist Cliff Hines brought together a cadre of New Orleans’ finest musicians to perform the music of David Bowie. Among those assembled was James Westfall, vibraphonist/composer and one third of The Wee Trio. This idea of performing Bowie’s music coincided with the groundwork for the band’s third album. What followed was the recording of Ashes To Ashes – A David Bowie Intraspective, a deep exploration into the eclectic icon’s music, and the band’s follow up to their first two critically acclaimed albums, Capitol Diner Vol. 1, and Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style.
After these two powerhouse albums, comprised of mostly original material (plus Nirvana’s “About a Girl”, Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Flint”), it became clear that the band was eager to lace their many Wee Trio-isms into the works of an outside composer. With Westfall being no stranger to Bowie’s music, and bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig quickly realizing the treasure trove they had found in the thin white duke’s work, the trio dove headfirst into his vast, diverse repertoire to select six songs that span Bowie’s musical universe: “Battle For Britain” (from Earthling), “Queen Bitch” (from Hunky Dory), “The Man Who Sold The World” (from The Man Who Sold The World), “Ashes to Ashes” (from Scary Monsters), “1984” (from Diamond Dogs) and “Sunday” (from Heathen).
“We went through long list of composers, and in the end, David Bowie represented the biggest range of musical possibilities. Going from folk to rock to glam to art soundscape to electronica, he has covered more aesthetic ground than perhaps any other pop artist. Jazz being the aesthetically voracious art form that it is (and one that is given to perpetual hybridizing of styles just as Bowie was), we saw that Bowie's music gave us that best chance to represent all the sides of our sound as a band,” explained Loomis.
For David Bowie fans and jazz fans alike, Ashes To Ashes will exceed your expectations. The Wee Trio manages to reimagine Bowie’s music while staying true to its spirit and energy. They simultaneously show their talent as jazz musicians while performing the music from the perspective of true Bowie fans. The Wee Trio also managed to showcase the versatility of Bowie’s compositions and how amazingly well they transferred into a new medium. Simply put, they breathe new life into these timeless Bowie classics.
More on The Wee Trio:
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). In March, 2010 the Trio released the much-anticipated follow up recording, Capitol Diner Vol. 2 Animal Style, an album that was recorded at the famous Piety Street Studios in New Orleans (studio of choice for Dave Mathews Band, Cassandra Wilson, Harry Connick Jr., etc), but was built on the road in California during the band’s tour in support of Vol. 1.
From the “oak tree thick bass” (AAJ NY) of Dan Loomis, the “explosiveness” and “fervent audacity” (AllAboutJazz) of Jared Schonig’s drumming to the “fresh excitement” (Icon) and “ultra-chill” (The Boston Herald) of James Westfall’s vibes, the band has an instantly identifiable sound, and the group’s prodigious rapport becomes more prevalent with each recording. Throughout their recorded work The Wee Trio is vigorous and sublime, and in performance the high energy, joy, anticipation and venturesome spirit of the group envelops the audience.
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, but together as The Wee Trio, Westfall, Loomis and Schonig represent one of the highly creative groups pushing jazz and improvised music in exciting and innovative new directions. They now offer their latest creative tour-de-force, Ashes To Ashes – A David Bowie Intraspective.