The Wee Trio, James Westfall (vibes), Dan Loomis (bass) + Jared Schonig (drums), proudly announce the September 30, 2016 release of their fifth recording, Wee + 3, recorded at Systems Two in Brooklyn, NY, and featuring three musicians who are near and dear to the members of the Trio; the legendary trumpeter/composer Nicholas Payton (tracks 4, 5 & 6), guitarist/composer Nir Felder (tracks 1, 10 & 11), and pianist/composer Fabian Almazán (tracks 2, 3 & 9). Inviting guests to join this established, working group was born out of the band’s collective love of collaboration.
Wee + 3 is an album about relationships. Dan Loomis is from Middle America, Jared Schonig is from the West Coast and James Westfall is from the South. Together they have traveled to every corner of the country and the songs on this album celebrate their individual roots and their travels together. The bonds that The Wee Trio formed as a band happened very soon after they all moved to New York City and has strengthened over the years. In short, musically and personally, they are thick as thieves, and their camaraderie is fully explored and realized on the band’s previous four recordings, Capitol Diner Vol. 1 (2008), Capitol Diner Vol. 2- Animal Style (2010), Ashes To Ashes- A David Bowie Intraspective (2012) and Live at The Bistro (2013). With Wee + 3, the fans are bearing witness to the first expansion of the trio as they welcome in three critically acclaimed, world-class musicians to the fold. Each guest artist has a unique personal relationship with the individual members of the band and all of the music on this record was composed for each of these guest artists, creating a stylistic spectrum that takes the listener through three different worlds, but all within the galaxy of The Wee Trio.
The guest artists also represent three distinct narrative points in the history of the band. Dan Loomis explains further, “Nicholas Payton is the prelude to our story as a band. We say that the trio connects so well because we had listened to so many of the same records. Mr. Payton’s music was definitely an important part of all our lives. His playing, his intention as a bandleader, and his compositions were important building blocks for all of our own musical conceptions and development. Nir Felder is the present tense in the story of the band. We all met Nir very soon after we moved to the city and played with him a lot in our first years here. Our encounter with Fabian Almazán is a look to the future. Jared has known Fabian for a several years, but James and I just started playing with him for this project. Fabian plays with relentless creativity that really brings out the best side of the band. We love to play familiar material and take a lot of risks with it- push it to see what new options we can find hidden in it. With Fabian we got a chance to expand that approach to a quartet setting and bring it some new material that we wrote especially for him. We think the results are magical!” In drummer Jared Schonig’s words, this record was, “really a dream for us to make, both compositionally and musically. We had many long discussions over two years, deciding who our guests would be, and we feel that we made such great choices. To add a fourth musical voice was like taking cake and putting more frosting on it just for the fun of it.”
2016 WEE + 3
2013 LIVE AT THE BISTRO
2012 ASHES TO ASHES
2010 CAPITOL DINER VOL. II, ANIMAL STYLE
2008 CAPITOL DINER VOL. I