- The New York City Jazz Record

by Marco Cangiano

- All About Jazz, Terri Hinte

Alex Weiss’s idiosyncratic vision of post-bop jazz finds a new apex with the tenor saxophonist-composer’s February 24 release of Most Don’t Have Enough (ears&eyes). Weiss’s third album as a leader is also his first with Glad Irys,hisworking quintet since 2019 comprising soprano saxophonist Dan Blake, guitarist Yana Davydova, bassist Dmitry Ishenko, and drummer Ches Smith, with pianist Marta Sanchez adding her distinctive stamp to two of the album’s nine moody, mysterious tracks….


- Saxophonist/Composer Alex Weiss Exhibits His Surrealist Jazz Conception on "Most Don't Have Enough," Due Feb. 24 from Ears&Eyes Records


- DownBeat, Sean J. O’Connell


- All About Jazz, Glenn Astarita

Outhead: Send This Sound To The King
This San Francisco Bay-area unit propels a renegade New York downtown-ish vibe amid notions of punk jazz and the occasional flight towards the free zone. They also rock hard as guest guitarist Pete Galub inserts a serrated edge with his avant, jazz fusion vernacular. Nonetheless, they're young artists with big ideas. Besides the instrumentalists notable chops, it's the memorable compositions that segregate the band from many of its peers. Featuring guest vocalists who help proliferate a melodic Indie rock groove on the final track "Uncle Ho," the production contains a heterogeneous mix, fundamentally centered on a progressive jazz-centered stream of consciousness.

Indeed, the musicians generate good cheer via these largely up-tempo works; although, on "The Chairman," Galub imparts some steely toned angst with his howling, electrified licks in parallel with saxophonists, Alex Weiss and Charlie Gurke's undulating impetus over a medium-tempo cadence. Each piece poses distinct stylistic components as the band projects an entrepreneurial mindset, witnessed on the asynchronous pulse that encapsulates "Glass Houses & Gift Horses," where the saxophonists blustery and soulful unison phrasings segue to a blitzing 4/4 groove and fractured lines. Ultimately, they stitch a complex but attainable storyline together, leading to a rather ominous downward spiral.

Diversity is a key driver, evidenced by the spoken word piece "A Made Truth," shaped by bassist Rob Woodcock's prominent ostinato motif and Galub's spooky lines, intermixed with a drifting melody. And from an improvisational perspective, the saxophonists don't rely on one primary mode of attack, as they integrate impassioned treks into the red zone during choice movements. Simply put, this album marks one of those unforeseen surprises that arrived in the mail. Hopefully, the musicians will pool their creative resources for subsequent endeavors of this ilk or to extend matters into other regions of sound and scope.
Track Listing: Ode to John Denver or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Death; The Chairman; The Palimpsest; Glass Houses & Gift Horses; A Made Truth; Trotsky; Uncle Ho.
Personnel: Alex Weiss: alto and tenor saxophone, vocals; Charlie Gurke: baritone saxophone; Rob Woodcock: bass; Dillon Westbrook: drums; Sarah Horacek: vocals (7); Jen Zebulon: vocals (7); Eunjin Park: vocals (7); Kristin Sharkey: vocals (7); spoken word (5); Pete Galub: vocals (7), guitar.


- Art & Culture Maven, Anya Wassenberg

Outhead to Release ‘Send This Sound to the King’
Outhead - the quartet of alto/tenor saxophonist Alex Weiss and baritone saxophonist Charlie Gurke with double-bassist Rob Woodcock and drummer Dillon Westbrook - pursues a low-slung, roughhewn aesthetic that's equal parts free-jazz and art-punk, brimming over with vim and vigor. Outhead's second album - Send

This Sound to the King, to be released October 14, 2014 via Chahatatadra Music - juxtaposes catchy melody and swinging grooves, headlong caterwaul and dreamy spoken word. Guest guitarist Peter Galub provides spiky six-string atmosphere to several tracks, and multiple voices are heard, male and female.Send This Sound to the King is the sound of both edge and allure.

Outhead's new album is the follow-up to the band's 2008 release, Quiet Sounds for Comfortable People, which was a favorite of Downtown Music Gallery's Bruce Gallanter for its "inventive dynamics" and "fabulous groove." He heard a kinship with Ornette Coleman's two-sax band with Dewey Redman, while Weiss lists Archie Shepp and Roland Kirk as further references, for both their stentorian roar and the theatricality of their '60s work. The sly humor and sheer accessibility of Send This Sound to the King makes Outhead akin to John Lurie's iconic downtown New York band the Lounge Lizards, while rock fans may even hear echoes of the baritone-driven, post-Beat stylings of vintage indie-rock trio Morphine at times. Yet for all its hip influences and antecedents, Outhead is above all an individualist outfit, playing music that isn't quite like anything else out there.

Outhead's second album kicks off beautifully with the majestic, melody-rich"Ode to John Denver, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Death," a woozy rubato spiritual by Weiss in a classic Albert Ayler mode, with a droning foundation of harmonium and arco bass for an East-meets-West feel. Next comes "The Chairman," a laconically catchy tune by Gurke that's blessed by Woodcock's grooving, textured bass playing and guest electric guitar by Peter Galub, who lends a rock'n'roll feel to the track - particularly with his fantastically wild, wailing solo near the end. Weiss' "The Palimpsest" makes a nod to John Zorn's Masada songbook; the composer's alto leads with the faintly Middle Eastern melody and a cry in his tone, though Gurke's baritone soon entwines serpentine around it for their characteristic sax blend.

"Glass Houses and Gift Horses" is a headlong rocker by Weiss, with a deceptively sophisticated form. The composer plays tenor, while Gurke's solo takes advantage of multiphonic effects and the overtones possible on the baritone. Westbrook, who has a Masters in Fine Arts degree in poetry, wrote the music and verses for the artfully produced soundscape "A Made Truth," with the sexual subtext of the words made plain in the initial sly recitation by Sarah Horashek and then undercut oddly and humorously by Eunjin Park's less-native way with the same lyrics."Trotsky" is a groovy free-bop number by Charlie in the early Ornette Coleman manner, the harmolodic icon being a prime influence on every member of the band. The album's offbeat closer,"Uncle Ho," features music by Charlie and words by Alex, with a chorus of women's voices taking a key role. Roland Kirk'sVolunteered Slavery is a key influence here, though with more demented humor in the words than political fire. The sound of Alex and Charlie's twinned saxophones is a textural highlight, as on the entire album.


- Gapplegate Music Review, Greg Edwards

Outhead, Take This Sound to the King
Life may not be like a box of chocolates lately, to refer to Mr. Gump, because we seem to know what we are getting, for good or ill. But it still applies to music. I get CDs in the mail often enough where I have no idea what it's going to be. Outhead's album Take This Sound to the King (Chahatatadra Music) serves as a good example. What was it? Putting it on I found it was something very good. Very modern jazz with a compositional base and a definite outside edge.
The credits list Alex Weiss on alto and tenor, Charlie Gurke on baritone, Rob Woodcock on acoustic bass and Dilton Westbrook on drums. Weiss and Gurke provide most of the compositions, with one by Westbrook. There is a skronky electric guitarist on a cut or two who sounds good, but he (or she) is not listed.
The music is very forward, rockish at times, contemporary like Morphine just a hair, but no, not entirely. The two-horn parts are intricate and weave well with rhythm-section routines. The band has a good thing going with Weiss and his hip solo style, both fleet and smart, with a full tone that doesn't sound like others so much. Gurke has a good sound and presence on baritone, too.
And the ensemble as a unit has real clout. It's new and hip sounding, with pulse and dash, and a certain "this is our music" and like it or not directness that appeals.
It's quite good. Different enough that you don't feel like you are repeating yourself when you put it on. Better than a box of chocolates! No doubt.


- Improvijazznation, Dick Metcalf

I have a feeling most of the kings of yore wouldn’t quite be able to “grok” what Alex & his bandmates (fellow saxophonist Charlie Gurke, bassist Rob Woodcock, drummer Dillon Westbrook and special guests on guitar and vocals) are doing here. I was strongly attracted to the spoken-word they have going on with tunes like “A Made Truth“, but the jazz (in the tradition of players like Ornette, Rhassan Roland Kirk & players of that stature) is paramount in what they’ve put together for your aural excitement! The opener, “Ode to John Denver or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Death“, will totally blow you away… holding you spellbound in the process (nothing like you imagined when you saw that title (lots of tension/release to keep you wondering, too). It was the 8:01 “The Chairman” that got my vote as personal favorite of the seven pieces offered up… I give Alex & his fantastic crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for jazz lovers who want something different; the “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99. You can get more information at Alex Weiss’s website.


- Jazz Weekly, George Harris

Alex Weiss plays alto and tenor sax on this mix sounds with Charlie Gurke/bs, Rob Woodcock/b and Dillon Westbrook/dr. The sounds come across as a mix of vintage Charles Mingus, but without the neurosis and Ornette Coleman yet without the iconoclasm. Edgy sounds meld together with Woodcocks’ bass leading the way on “”A Made Truth” and the horns lock and pull together before splitting apart on “Trotsky.” Dark tones and moods trudge along on the lonely “The Palimpsest” as Weiss’ alto makes some poignant points. Voices are brought into a few equations, with a spoken word poem by Kristin Sharke on and Weiss and Pete Galub joining in “A Made Truth.” More vocals on “Uncle Ho” and a Monkish-inspired “Glass Houses & Gift Horses” make the disc feel like a mix of influences and ideas that mostly stick to the kitchen wall.


- Midwest Record Recap, Chris Spector

OUTHEAD/Send This Sound to the King: Oh, how can you not respect a bunch that tells you right up front they're a pomo art house bunch? Commemorating the no wave vibe with it's roots in free jazz, this the sound of hipper malcontents into jazz everywhere this season.


- Mos Eisley Music Blog, Jonas Kolbe

Being influenced by various genres like punk rock, Alex Weiss, alto saxophonist and member of the group Outhead, might not be your typical jazz saxophone player. On "Send this Sound to the King" he rejoins with his fellow musicians Charlie Gurke (baritone saxophone), Rob Woodcock (Bass) and Dillon Westbrook (Drums) to play an highly interesting brand of jazz.

Though I can't seem to recognize any specific punk rock elements on this album besides a noisy guitar here and there, it still carries an individual style and spirit. A track like "The Palimpsest" might be a good example: The first thing we can hear is the perfect blend of two saxophones playing together. The next thing is the rhythm section kicking in, which is more or less the trademark of this group. Steady rhyhtms and a dynamic bass provide a solid groundwork in each track for the melodic saxophone symbiosis. "The Chairman" is probably the most grooving song on "Bring this Sound to the King". It also shows that this group knows how to arrange and orchestrate - There is a clear structure to each tune and every solo and improvisation that you will hear is perfectly embedded in it. Playing smooth notes while bringing that certain element of surprise at the same time is what makes this band unique.


- Shepherd Express, Dave Luhrssen

On their second album, the bi-coastal quartet Outhead takes the trail opened by the ’60s jazz avant-garde, but with a determination to hit audiences in the gut rather than sail over their heads. Rock elements echoing the sax-driven Morphine can be heard, along with enough melody in their saxophone cacophony to suggest Henry Threadgill at his most accessible. Alex Weiss and Charlie Gurke lead with their saxophones over the pulse-beat grooves and rolling thunder percussion of bassist Rob Woodcock and drummer Dillon Westbrook. Guest guitarist Peter Galub adds electricity on a few tracks.


- Nextbop.com, Anthony Dean-Harris


- VinylMine, Phontas Troussas


- Monsieur Delire, Francois Couture


- Wondering Sound, Dave Sumner

http://www.wonderingsound.com/new-jazz-week-eple-trio-luca-ciarla-quartet- throttle-elevator-music/

- Jazz Inside, Eric Nemeyer

Feature interview in November 2014 issue

- Musica Jazz Magazine (Italy), Alessandra Andretta

Best New Jazz in Dec 2014 issue.

- Tchaicai's Five/ Six Points Plays George Wein's Jazz Festival, 2010

John Tchicai's Five Points is a quintet with guitarist Garrison Fewell, fellow reed player Alex Weiss, bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Ches Smith.
Surprisingly One Long Minute was recorded after only two live performances but the band sounds seasoned, without an ounce of tentativeness.
Each member except Ishenko contributes compositions and the band really seems inspired by each other's efforts. Tchicai gets off a fiery solo on Smith's "Anxiety Disorder" and his bass clarinet (uncredited) roams deeply on Fewell's "Venus." Weiss' arrangement of the theme to Akira Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" is just a brief theme statement but fits perfectly into the program. Tchicai's "Parole Ambulante" is a typical languid theme delivered over a free rhythm with beautiful voicings given sonic depth by Ishenko's arco bass work. One wonders what this band will sound like by the time of the next disc.


- Outhead / Quiet sounds for Comfortable Music, 2008