The music begins at 9 o’clock, featuring young pianists such as the excellent Ian Finkelstein from the U-M jazz program. Weed then takes over for the rest of the night, although other musicians sometimes pop in and take turns on various instruments. Weed has such an intense way of approaching his instrument that a listener immediately forgets his is only an upright piano: the room is filled with cascading runs, rich chords, melodies, countermelodies, and rhythmic shifts. The other two members of the trio respond in different yet complementary ways: Brooks holds down the beat, favoring the lower register of the bass, while Davidson dances around his drum set, constantly changing rhythms, answering riffs, playing his own melodies without overwhelming the others. The repertoire is familiar: mostly Great American Songbook or modern jazz classics, but they are all transformed by excitement, wit, and grace. Years of playing together are on offer here, and all three musicians play with the spontaneity and infectious pleasure that lies at the heart of all good jazz.
[Originally published in January, 2012.]