Jon Weber | Simple Complex

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Jazz: Latin Jazz Jazz: Stride Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Simple Complex

by Jon Weber

USA;Downbeat:"Giant stride forward."Apopsi;Greece:" Compositions strong & mature." Spain;Cuadernos de Jazz:"Intriguing composer,excellent arranger." Jazznytt,Norway:"Beautiful solos." Italy, "Excellent group dynamics." France, JazzHot:"Worthy of respect."
Genre: Jazz: Latin Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hot Ice
Gary Burton (Vibraphone), Jon Weber (piano), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Diego Urcola (trumpet), John Ovnik (electric bass), Mark Walker (drums)
7:13 album only
2. No More Words
Roy Hargrove (flügelhorn), Jon Weber (piano)
4:11 album only
3. Drastic Steps
Diego Urcola (trumpet), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Peter Washington (bass), Jon Weber (piano), Mark Walker (drums)
5:21 album only
4. Mister Kleckley
Gary Burton (vibes), Jon Weber (piano), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Diego Urcola (flügelhorn), Matt Clohesy (bass), Mark Walker (bongos)
6:38 album only
5. Simple Complex
Gary Burton (Vibraphone), Jon Weber (piano), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Diego Urcola (trumpet), John Ovnik (electric bass), Mark Walker (drums)
7:38 album only
6. While She's Dreaming
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass), Jon Weber (piano), Paul McCandless (oboe), Jonas Johansen (drums)
5:15 album only
7. Is It Only Me?
Kurt Elling and Alicia Reneé (vocals), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Jon Weber (piano), Siri Sonty (tanbura), John Ovnik (sitar), Avishai Cohen (bass), Kalyan Pathak (tabla), Mark Walker (drums)
7:03 album only
8. Jolie
John Moulder (acoustic guitar), Gary Burton (vibes), Jon Weber ) piano), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen; Jonas Johansen (pandiero), Mark Walker (drums)
4:25 album only
9. Whatever You Say
Diego Urcola (trumpet), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Jon Weber (piano), Avishai Cohen (bass), Rubén Alvarez (timbales), Mark Walker (drums)
8:16 album only
10. Triska Deka
Gary Burton (Vibraphone), Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Jon Weber (piano), Avishai Cohen (bass), Mark Walker (drums)
7:49 album only


Album Notes

2ndCenturyJazz Records Artist Bio

FRANCE: "Weber is indeed an impressive musician, not only for his instrumental performance but also for his ambitious compositions. His music distinguishes itself by its assertive complexity, indisputable melodicism, and decisive spirit. A discovery. An ambitious project worthy of respect." (Jazz Hot Magazine; February 2005)

SPAIN: "Intriguing composer, excellent arranger." (Cuadernos de Jazz, Madrid; Mayo/Junio 2005)

NORWAY: "Dense, driving, energetic and with beautiful solos. Gets the pulse and appetite for life. Lightens up the soul. Suddenly the carnival is loose. Easy to like. Warmly recommended." (Jazznytt, Oslo; april/mai 2005)

"Best Jazz CD, 2004." NORWEGIAN NATL RADIO;(NRK Radio Norway).

TURKEY: "SIMPLE COMPLEX emphasizes the collective soul, giving pleasure with its clear positively textured tunes. Jon Weber may be sowing the seeds of a distinctive sound which will only get better." (Jazz Magazine, Istanbul; April 2005).

HUNGARY: "Weber reveals himself most profoundly in his syncopated numbers, showing his virtuosity and uniqueness; but particularly in his ballads, he plays most convincingly. Listening to his performance, you have the feeling that no project is too ambitious for this man." (Fidelio, CD of the Week; March 21, 2005: Budapest)

SWITZERLAND: "Intricate compositions remind me of the Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock masterpieces."(SWISS NATIONAL RADIO)

SWITZERLAND: "Jon Weber delivered a surprise coup giving an insight into the art of improvisation."

GREECE: "...a very talented composer whose music may be complex but can also be easily approachable by the listener. For the listener, what matters most are not the elaborate arrangements and harmonies nor the chord progressions but the natural and direct way that the music reaches his ears. Essential are the right compositions, the tightness and harmonization, the chemistry as we call it. «SIMPLE COMPLEX» wonderfully combines all of these qualities. Weber's compositions are strong and mature despite the fact that most were composed when he was a teenager." (Vangelis Aragiannis, Apopsi; January 7, 2005)

SWEDEN: "Assembling an impressive crew to play entirely his own music, Weber is a technically skilled pianist with an impressive flow in his playing - interesting to listen to, throughout. His album is receiving recognition in numerous American jazz magazines, and deservedly so." (Orkester Journalen, Stockholm; February/March 2005)

FINLAND: "One almost becomes delirious upon discovering a great record from an extraordinary undiscovered artist. His compositions and arrangements are pleasant and quite catchy, and he is very skilled at knowing how to fit guest players into the music seamlessly." (Jazzrytmit Magazine; Helsinki, February 24, 2005)

ITALY: "Very impressed, excellent arranging and group dynamics. Congrats and keep up the dynamite music!" (Radio Antenna Uno; Barletta)


UK: "This astonishing US pianist-composer is already my 'Best New Star of 2005'. His arrangements and playing are breathtaking." Chrissie Murray, JAZZ UK

UK: STRAIGHT NO CHASER - JANUARY 2005; UK/JAPAN "Virtuoso stuff, bursting with energy. This band can turn on a dime and they revel in their ability to overlap time signatures, switch tempos and zip from a Cuban montuno to Indian tabla patterns to easy snapping swing without even blinking. A serious grooving independent effort."
"Jazz CD of the Year" - BBC Online

USA: "A giant stride forward." DOWNBEAT Sept 2004

USA: "#1 JAZZ RECORDING, 2004." Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich - "Weber has indeed soared into new regions of expression as composer-bandleader... If any recording can give Weber a fraction of the recognition he deserves, 'Simple Complex' is it... Leading such artists as trumpeter Roy Hargrove, singer Kurt Elling, bassist Avishai Cohen and vibist Gary Burton, Weber unveils original music so unconventional in its scoring, unorthodox in its harmonies and unpredictable in its melodic course as to represent a nearly complete reassessment of his art." HOWARD REICH: CHICAGO TRIBUNE; August 3, 2004.

USA: "You can whistle these tunes in your car, although it will take a few run-throughs to approximate them. Weber and a dozen friends, including venerables Gary Burton and Niels-Henning ÿrsted Pedersen, trade ideas with precision, polish and nuance. Elequently woven strands of musical conversation." JAZZIZ: Top 10 CDs of 2004

USA - All About Jazz, May 2004: "Jon Weber is a virtuoso, pure and simple." (Matt Merewitz)

USA - All About Jazz, May 2004: "Beauty with no other distractions." (Michael P. Gladstone)

USA - All About Jazz, May 2004: "Weber is a serious creative force both as a player and a composer. The disc is a joy to listen to, full of gripping tunes highlighted by a variety of delightful surprises. Throughout the disc, Weber's own playing is inventive and inviting. Weber's compositions settle into undeniable grooves that belie the intricacy of their structures." (Rob Cline)

USA - All About Jazz, June 2005: "Quick-paced music that uplifts with a bursting rhythmic intensity - tightly woven, professionally played with power and precision." (Elliott Simon)

USA: #1 Jazz CD of 2004." Mark Ruffin, Listen Here!

USA: Neil Tesser's Top 20 from 2004

USA: "The originals are excellent; Brilliant pianist. Exploratory playing." - Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene

USA: "Long admired for his encyclopedic knowledge of songs, the 42-year old Weber has taken a great stride forward with the release of Simple Complex, which features 10 of his own sophistocated but accessible compositions - executed by an all-star cast." DOWNBEAT; September 2004

USA: "Weber delivers what amounts to a five star effort if only for his all-original program, incisive in its compositional ethic. On 'Simple Complex,' Weber has amassed a stellar line-up of international headliners... Weber's effort is unequalled on several levels by many more well-known artists on major labels." All About Jazz; Matthew Merewitz; "Jon Weber is a virtuoso, pure and simple."

USA: "Every once in a great while, a jazz musician (who really knocks you out) comes along to reinvigorate your faith in the well-being of the music. Jon Weber fits that description, and then some. His CD, 'SIMPLE COMPLEX,' is a rare expression of the kind of excitement we all seek and seldom find. Do yourself a favor and give it some ear.....then tell all your discerning friends about Jon Weber." Mort Fega

USA: "Jon Weber's 'Simple Complex' is the most fascinating new music I have played in years." - GARY BURTON

USA: "Weber plays with extraordinary confidence...the precision is remindful of the workings of a fine watch. A sparkling new listen for us! Weber is not only strong within his own performance and creativity, but blends well with the other musicians in the unforgettable 10 tracks. They are all magnificent.";

USA: "His program of original compositions from moody ballads to several highly-charged romps, Weber offers variety and a touch of class. The leader's driving attitude gives the piece spirit, as they swing fiercely and with passion. Within the clarion harmony, Weber ensures that the ensemble remains cohesive. Throughout Weber's impressionistic world journey, his Jazz roots remain prominent. As the sextet works out on several pieces, you're drawn into the mesmerizing quality of the mainstream and its journey from Ragtime syncopation to Bebop and beyond. Weber says it with backbeats, suitelike movements, and a cast of characters who comply by supplying superb musicianship." Cadence Sept 2004

USA: Live at BIRDLAND; June 20, 2005: "Weber, even on his breathtakingly fast stride work, remarkably crystal clear, all notes in place - delighted a packed-house audience."

USA: Live at Schein Concert Hall; Sanibel, FL; February 15, 2005: "Composer Harold Arlen was well represented on Tuesday on Tuesday February 15, as pianist Jon Weber presented a solo piano concert devoted to 22 of Arlen's 400 published songs. Weber has an easy-going, friendly manner and shows an obvious passion for his craft. He is to be commended for his grasp of the many facts as well as the music that went into his presentation. His concept works: I could easily have listened to the other 378 Arlen songs."

USA: "Jon Weber, through his compositions, makes the complex sound simple, and makes 'Simple Complex' a delight. As a soloist, considering the top-notch talent surrounding him, he more than holds his own... fleet and fluid without being facile." Bo Leibowitz, Strictly Jazz, KCRW;

It's a wonderful thing when jazz insiders from all over the world enthusiastically discover an intelligent, creative young talent like Jon Weber. A spectacular solo pianist, his brilliantly crafted spontaneous orchestrations easily place him in the rarefied company of today's elite musicians.

The youngest of 7 children, Jon's musical passion (plus absolute pitch and recall) surfaced at age 3 on a toy organ. By 6, he internalized 2000 standards from his Grandma's piano rolls, reharmonizing, improvising, and constantly shuffling the deck rhythmically and harmonically.

As a teenager, Jon prodigiously scribbled musical ideas on every piece of paper available. Multiple-clef orchestrations penciled upon hundreds of envelopes, notebooks (and occasionally actual staff paper), filled his room and schoolbooks. By age 19, Jon's jazz quintet (all original music) had opened for Pat Metheney, Buddy Rich, Freddie Hubbard, Angela Bofil, and Stanley Turrentine at major summer jazz festivals.

Jon's compositional flurry raged nonstop until age 22. "I fell under the spell of solo pianists Art Tatum and Dave McKenna, and for the last two decades, I've concentrated on absorbing their orchestral concepts into my own musical vocabulary." Since 1989, Jon has performed a Sunday - Thursday solo gig at Chicago's Four Seasons Hotel with time off for jazz festivals. "Whenever a stellar player joined me onstage (Stevie Wonder; Wynton Marsalis; Bobby McFerrin), I longed to perform with my own original ensemble again."

"Last summer, I rediscovered charts I'd written in high school and started calling every great musician I knew. SIMPLE COMPLEX took on a life of its own very quickly." Weber's quintet, the surprise hit of Melbourne's January 2003 International Jazz Fest, inspired this review by "The Age" newspaper; "The tunes of this vibrating, pulsing unit are mind-bendingly complex with overlapping time signatures, accent shifts, and rhythmic feels that swerve from Cuban montunos to Indian tabla patterns to straight-ahead swing at the blink of an eye. Weber spiked his challenging charts with infectious latin grooves while fellow musicians rode the odd-metered passages with unflappable poise."

SIMPLE COMPLEX, released on January 29, 2004 (2ndCenturyJazz Records), features Jon on piano, drummer Mark Walker, tenor sax master Eric Alexander, trumpeters Diego Urcola and Roy Hargrove, bassists Avishai Cohen, Niels-Henning
ÿrsted Pedersen, and Peter Washington, plus vibraphonist Gary Burton. "How lucky can a guy get?!" adds Jon. "Everybody gave a 100th percentile performance." UK's Jazz Journal International writes; "Jon Weber is a virtuoso pianist with outstanding technique plus boundless imagination and enthusiasm who is bound to make a big impression on the international jazz scene."

Live recordings under Jon's name ("FlyingKeys")are available through Swiss label, Jazz Connaisseur"Jazz Wagon,"(IMI) is available through; CNN, BET, CNBC,Bravo Arts, NPR, Voice of America, and the BBC have profiled Jon Weber's unique musical depth and vast knowledge of his craft. After appearing on Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz," Warner Bros. commissioned Jon (Mr. Perfect Pitch) to transcribe "Portraits," a book containing 23 of Marian's improvised piano solo compositions.

At the request of composers Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, Jon recorded a double CD, "It's Never Quite The Same" (Mood Records). Violin virtuoso Dr. L. Subramaniam flew Jon to Bangalore; India to appear in a series of concerts and recordings, and he's even been decalared "Man of the Day" by the Icelandic government. Performing a worldwide TV simulcast of his septet's Gershwin Centennial Concert in Estonia, Jon's ensemble won 2nd place in that fest's international composer/arranger competition. Weber has quickly become a favorite at New York's 92nd Street "Y" jazz series, performing duos with Dick Hyman, the late Sir Roland Hanna, Cyrus Chestnut, and Bill Charlap. Jon Weber, supremely talented in so many areas, is rapidly emerging as a youthful, singular personality in modern jazz.
Sextet a big hit at Carnegie Hall full house Monday November 3; B.E.T. event for St. Lucia Jazz Fest Saturday Jan 24th in NYC; 92nd Street "Y" with Dick Hyman Saturday April 10; Live concert in Oslo, April 26th - Norwegian National Radio; with Von Freeman June 25, Peavey Plaza, Downown Minneapolis; Jon's quintet (featuring Mark Walker, Diego Urcola, Matt Clohesy, & Eric Alexander) is also performing at 7:20pm Friday June 25 at Peavey Plaza, Downtown Minneapolis; Jon plays with David "Fathead" Newman Saturday June 26, Peavey Plaza, Downtown Minneapolis. July 12/13 Molde Jazz Festival: Norway; LIVE NPR PIANO JAZZ with MARIAN McPARTLAND July 15 at MUSIC INSTITUTE of CHICAGO; Millenium Park Opening - Main Stage -July 17; August 13/14 Dakota Jazz: Minneapolis; Oct 28; Apollo Theater, NYC; November 8: Carnegie Hall; NYC; W/Jarek Smietana - Chicago's Chopin Theater, November 15; Chicago Cultural Center January 23, 2005 3pm; NPR Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland; early February '05; BIG ARTS, Sanibel,FL February 15, 2005. Solo Piano for B.E.T. @ Cable Awards Show, San Francisco; April 3-5. Ellington's Sanibel, FL; May 11-14. June 25 with Benny Golson, Mercedes Benz Stage, Minneapolis. June 26 with Roseanna Vitro, Peavey Plaza. July 21-24, Vancouver. October 14, New Canaan, CT; November 21, Carnegie Hall, NYC. January 14, 2006: Fine Arts Bldg Chicago 3pm; November 13, 2006: Carnegie Hall, NYC.

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to write a review

Chris Michalek

I've known Jon for the past several years. He is above all else a very special soul. I've yet to meet a person that is more generous and genuine as Jon. The music speaks for itself and I am too lowly a musician to begin to comment on it. Do yourself a favor and buy this disc now or better yet invite him to your house for egg rolls... It worked for me and I am eternally greatful.


Saw you at the Apollo & Carnegie Hall. Tremendous!
Saw you at the Apollo & Carnegie Hall. Tremendous! PL -NJ

MAria C

SImple Complex; inventive and original.
SImple Complex; inventive and original. Great piano sound. Maria C; Portland, OR


Jon's left hand sounds like Art Tatum
Jon's left hand sounds like Art Tatum. If Tatum was alive today, he'd love Simple Complex. Taylor

B. Kline

2004's best jazz cd
2004's best jazz cd
B. Kline Vancouver, BC


Simple Complex has superlative composing and soloing. Uncompromising.
Simple Complex has superlative composing and soloing. Uncompromising. David Z: Berlin


Simple Complex is a grammy winner in the making. It's about time.
Simple Complex is a grammy winner in the making. It's about time. Shaw, NC

J - Rolling Meadows, IL

Simple Complex is a jazz breakthrough record like Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.
Simple Complex is a jazz breakthrough record like Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. Very, very good JK


Jon Weber's duet with Roy Hargrove, No More Words, is fantastic. Cassandra
Jon Weber's duet with Roy Hargrove, No More Words, is fantastic. Cassandra

Elizabeth, NJ

sounded like a new Herbie Hancock CD
I heard this on the radio and thought it was a new Herbie Hancock. Simple Complex was hard to find, but worth the search.
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