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"Obergefell" is the seventh track from pianist, composer and bandleader Ezra Weiss's debut big band album "We Limit Not the Truth of God.” The album is a heartbreakingly confessional and impassioned suite that’s both a loving message passed down from father to children as well as a profound and deeply felt plea for togetherness and empathy. "Obergefell" takes the music in a celebratory direction with a victory for the forces of love; taking its title from the name of the defendant in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. Weiss’ choral arrangement vividly depicts the triumphant joy of the decision as alto saxophonist John Nastos and trumpeter Thomas Barber take flight. We Limit Not the Truth of God takes its name from a hymn written by George Rawson in 1853, based on the words delivered by Pastor John Robinson to the Pilgrims as they left Holland, eventually landing in America. It’s difficult to imagine what those pioneers might think of the country where they landed in its current, deeply driven guise, though the hymn’s inspiring words could provide as much guidance now as they did then. “In our contemporary world,” Weiss says, “we tend to make a lot of assumptions, but there’s a higher truth that we often don't see. That’s what spoke to me about the hymn; it brings up the idea of truth, and now when we live in a world where we’re so polarized that people choose what facts they believe and don't believe, the concept of truth has become really important.” Weiss's brilliant 17-piece big band includes such distinctive soloists as saxophonists John Nastos, Rob Davis, Renato Caranto and Mieke Bruggeman; trumpeters Farnell Newton, Derek Sims and Thomas Barber; trombonists Stan Bock and Jeff Uusitalo; and flutist John Savage. The album was recorded live in the resonant Alberta Abbey, a historic church turned performance space in Weiss’ hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Fanfare for a Newborn; Dear O. and J.; Blues and the Alternative Fact; You Just Started Kindergarten; Jose's Drawing; I Don't Mean to Be a Downer; Obergefell; What Now; We Limit Not the Truth of God; Please Know That I Love You; Footprints.
Ezra Weiss: narration (2, 4, 6, 8, 9), conductor; John Nastos: alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet; John Savage: alto sax, flute, alto flute; Renato Caranto: tenor sax; Rob Davis: tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet; Mieke Bruggeman: bari, bass clarinet; Greg Garrett: trumpet, flugelhorn; Thomas Barber: trumpet, flugelhorn; Derek Sims: trumpet flugelhorn; Farnell Newton: trumpet, flugelhorn; Stan Bock: trombone; Jeff Uusitalo: trombone; Denzel Mendoza: trombone; Douglas Peebles: bass trombone; Jasnam Daya Singh: piano; Eric Gruber: bass; Alan Jones: drums; Carlton Jackson: percussion; The Camas High School Choir: vocals (9).
October 18, 2019
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