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Album Review

Cory Weeds Quartet: Just Coolin'

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Cory Weeds Quartet: Just Coolin'
Although Cory Weeds spends much of his time promoting and recording other jazz artists, he does manage to place those tasks on the back burner every once in a while to blow his own horn, so to speak—which he does about as well as anyone else on today's scene. While the Canadian-based saxophonist is especially engaging on alto, he plays only tenor on Just Coolin', backed by a rhythm section he assembled in 2021 for a live gig at Frankie's Jazz Club in Vancouver. Not that he's any slouch on that axe either; au contraire. Weeds is a standout on tenor, a smooth-spoken charmer from the Dexter Gordon/Hank Mobley school of hard bopping who can easily stand his ground against any player you'd care to name.

Weeds sets out to validate that premise on Mobley's "Just Coolin,'" on which his solo is a model of ingenuity and eloquence, as are those that follow. Commendable on every number, Weeds is especially seductive on the ballad "We Three." The tasty menu covers original compositions by pianists Ray Bryant ("Chicken 'n Dumplins") and Cedar Walton ("Bitter Sweet"), saxophonists David Sanchez ("Street Scenes") and Harold Land ("Vendetta"), the last a nimble flag-waver that is among the session's several highlights. As icing on the cake, Weeds has chosen a trio of staunch supporters in pianist Tilden Webb, bassist John Lee and drummer Jesse Cahill, none of whom is less than admirable as accompanist or soloist.

As is usually the case, even when he is center stage Weeds is thinking of others, in this case the late Canadian saxophone colossus Fraser MacPherson, whose composition "Night Walk" closes the album. Weeds notes that all of the proceeds from Just Coolin' (in every format) will benefit the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund, which is dedicated to offering financial support and broadening educational opportunities for jazz students in British Columbia. A worthy cause, and a marvelous way to lend a helping hand.

Track Listing

Just Coolin'; Beep Purple; Chicken N' Dumplins; Bitter Sweet; We Three; Street Scenes; Vendetta; Night Walk.

Personnel

Cory Weeds: saxophone, alto; Tilden Webb: piano; Jesse Cahill: drums; John Lee: bass.

Album information

Title: Just Coolin' | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Cellar Records

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