Feb 6, 2018
We kick off Black History Month with a conversation with pianist-organist-composer James Weidman, who plumbs the depth of the Negro Spiritual, the "sorrow songs" of slavery on his new album Spiritual Impressions. "Impressions" is an important word, as he and his band, featuring vocalist Ruth Naomi Floyd, spin new and different arrangements for familiar tunes. In the hands of this group, even a classic like "Wade in the Water" comes off as something new.
Weidman has a long history of working with spiritual music, including the fine duet album he made with Jay Hoggard a few years back Songs of Spiritual Love. An original member of Joe Lovano's US 5 group, and accompanist for Abbey Lincoln, he has played many roles, and continues to grow and hone his art.
Podcast 609 is our conversation, with musical selections "Wade in the Water" and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" from Spiritual Impressions, plus a track from Tamuz Nissim's new CD Echoes of a Heartbeat, "Melody Shade", on which Weidman played piano.