Walt Weiskopf is a jazz tenor saxophone player. He leads his own quartet, quintet, sextet and nonet and has released multiple recordings with these different bands, featuring his original music and his arrangements of jazz standards. Walt has toured the U.S., Europe, South America and Israel with his various ensembles.
Working on a new album and touring with Steely Dan.
Saxophonist, composer and author Walt Weiskopf began his New York career performing with the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1981 at the age of 21. Since then, he has made an impressive mark as both a leader and sideman with 12 critically-acclaimed CDs and countless sideman credits, including performing and recording with Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen and Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy. A dynamic player with enormous technical prowess, Walt is equally well-regarded as a composer and his CDs contain predominantly original work. His five books on advanced topics in improvisation are among the most respected in the field. He lives in New Jersey and is an Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music.
Whether for quartet, nonet, or any configuration in between, Walt's compositions and arrangements have attracted fans and critical notice. Simplicity, (Criss Cross Jazz-1993), Walt's first CD as a leader, met with immediate success. It was number one on Eurojazz radio for four straight weeks and caused Mel Martin of Saxophone Journal to write: "Walt Weiskopf's prime influence as a player appears to be John Coltrane, but he is no slavish imitator. He ... gets to musical matters in a powerful and positive way, asserting a definite viewpoint.... He displays much technical accomplishment, yet makes it sound basic and accessible."
Walt's subsequent recordings, from A World Away in 1994 (Criss Cross Jazz) to the most recent Day In Night Out (Criss Cross Jazz - 2008), have also caused a critical stir. In the September 1997 issue of JazzTimes Bill Milkowski counted Walt among his "five most underrated players"; by 2000, Milkowski found that Walt had fulfilled his early promise, and is "...a major talent...a monster tenor saxophonist as well as a prolific composer and accomplished arranger."
Walt's Song for My Mother (Criss Cross Jazz-1994) was awarded four stars in Downbeat. Bret Primack of Jazz Central Station listed Song for My Mother as one of the ten best jazz albums of 1997 and Crusader Magazine chose this recording as its number one Jazz Pick of the Year.