Original, modern instrumental and improvisational music can be used to describe a whole generation of musicians that are melding Electronic, Rock and Hip Hop music into a new tradition of Jazz. Perhaps what makes Major Vistas unique in this field is that Mike Weiser and Chris Bucheit are both composers with work that naturally compliments each other – in fact it can be difficult to determine which songs are written by whom if you had to guess by sound alone. One thinks back to musical partnerships such as Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays and Donald Fagen/Walter Becker whose collaborative efforts equaled much more than the sum of its parts. But balancing artistic contributions and presenting it as cohesive work can be challenging in the least. This seems effortless for Weiser and Bucheit – no doubt in part due to both having diverse musical backgrounds even though growing up in different parts of the Midwest.
This is on display with Major Vistas debut release “Minor Anthems” recorded and released in 2016.
Tone Madison Review:
Madison-based trio Major Vistas’ debut album, Minor Anthems, crafts flowing and subtly ambitious instrumentals from a gentle palette of jazz, rock, and electronic sounds. Chris Bucheit’s mostly clean-toned guitars, Mike Weiser’s electric piano, and Geoff Brady’s drums give these songs an approachable surface, but also give the band a lot of room to explore a variety of textures and feels. Weiser and Bucheit dart around each other through the ascending figures of “Deep Space” as Brady weaves tastefully mutating grooves. “Beginning Mind” uses rich piano chords and delay-streaked guitar loops to craft a melody that’s at once conversational and ominous, with rhythms that alternate between mid-tempo rock and nimble swing. That versatility—and the band’s balance of hooks and improvisation—makes Major Vistas a worthy addition to Madison’s jazz offerings.
– Scott Gordon • June 2016
Michael Brenneis joined the group in early 2018, and brings incredible depth and experience to the formula. He is a composer in his own right, and the trio looks forward to exploring his songwriting talents as well.
Keep an ear out for this group based in Madison. If their first CD is any sign of what’s to come, the Jazz community and broader musical audience is in for a treat!
For more information please visit Major Vistas EPK