Amazing Life

Weiss, Shaw, and DuRoche hope that listeners will find empathy, healing, and a genuine outreach of emotion in the project which certainly contains their own processing of the pandemic experience. DuRoche, in particular, hopes listeners will find, “A surrender. Not giving up or giving in, but an invitation to a different kind of generosity amid so much noise in the world.”


Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss is “a bold, inspired figure in the contemporary jazz arranging scene.” (DownBeat) He has released seven albums as a bandleader, most recently We Limit Not the Truth of God (2019). Additionally, Ezra composed the music for the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble’s multimedia concert and recording, From Maxville To Vanport (2018), and wrote the big band arrangements for Derek Hines’ The Long Journey Home (2017), which led to the formation of the Ezra Weiss Big Band. Ezra now leads his own big band and sextet, performing at major venues throughout the U.S., including several week-long engagements at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club. A former New Yorker, Ezra served as arranger for drumming legend Billy Hart, and co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City. He has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category. He has taught at multiple colleges and universities in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, bassist Jon Shaw first came to music singing in choirs as a child. As a boy soprano he joined the acclaimed early music ensemble Cantores In Ecclesia, performing Gregorian chant and early polyphony as well as liturgical works of the Renaissance and Romantic periods. As a bass player, this deep connection to melody can be heard throughout his basslines. After some time studying drums and guitar, he began studying upright bass with André St. James, who further instilled in him a reverence for improvisatory music, and an unwavering dedication to rhythm and groove. Since then, he’s had the honor of opening for artists such as George Clinton, George Porter Jr., and Zigaboo Modeliste. In addition to this trio, Jon plays bass in groups spanning across the spectrum of musical genre, including the post-jazz Blue Cranes, the straight-ahead Ezra Weiss Sextet, the avant-garde Battle Hymns and Gardens, and the soulful Dirty Revival.

Tim DuRoche is a jazz drummer, writer, sound artist, and radio host based in Portland since 2000. DuRoche has worked with an array of US and European jazz and free improvisation innovators, including Burton Greene, Roscoe Mitchell, Thollem McDonas, George Sams, Lori Goldston, Rich Halley, John Gross, Eri Yamamoto, Dominic Duval, Damon Smith, Bill McHenry, Matana Roberts, Carei Thomas, Paul Plimley-Lisle Ellis, Torsten Muller-Urs Leimgruber, Elliott Sharp, Jon Raskin, Perry Robinson, Phillip Greenlief, Marco Eneidi, Didier Petit, Alan Tomlinson, and Frank Gratkowski. Local ensembles have included Get Smashing Love Power, Battle Hymns and Gardens (with saxophonists Reed Wallsmith and Joe Cunningham, and bassist Jon Shaw of Blue Cranes), The Kin Trio, and a decade-long association with the late bassist André St. James in innumerable settings. Select recordings include Johnny Miss Mae (Gold Lion Arts), Live in Our Time (ESP-Disk), Timeless Memories from (Charles Lester Music), as well as two previous recordings on PCJE Records: The Kin Trio’s Breathe with Sunjae Lee and André St. James, and Ryan Meagher’s Evil Twin.

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