Mark Weaver’s Brassum | Warning Lights | Plutonium Records

Given its name which reflects its brass-heavy instrumentation, you’d expect Mark Weaver’s Brassum to be a celebration of the brass band tradition with evocations of marching bands… But with leader and tubaist Mark Weaver taking on the role of the string bass, this band really is a free Bop ensemble with catchy, intriguing tunes setting up edgy blowing. Little Weaver plays wouldn’t fall easily under the fingers of an adept bassist. That’s not to say that his big brass bass doesn’t add a dominant color to the date. The tuba’s expansive sound envelops the ensemble with a golden fog. Even when vamping, Weaver’s lines (and this applies as well to the undisputed master of this school of tuba, Bob Stewart) resonate with the other horns in the way a string bass does not. Weaver and Eisenstadt prove to be a playful rhythm section. Clucas works well within the context of Weaver’s compositions. Vlatkovich further lifts the session with his robust, ripping trombone lines. …this music, through crafty writing and daring playing, achieves a sound larger than you’d assume from the seemingly meager complement of instruments. —David Dupont (Cadence magazine vol.30, No.6, June 2004, p.46-47) Continue reading