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Album Review

Cory Weeds With Strings: What Is There To Say?

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Cory Weeds With Strings: What Is There To Say?
Tenor saxophonist Cory Weeds continues to search for new ways to explore and expand his personal musical horizons. In the release What Is There To Say?, Weeds looks to the expression "everything old is new again" and delivers an album backed by a fulsome string section reminiscent of sessions that both Charlie Parker and Bobby Hackett undertook in the 1950s. With sumptuous arrangements from pianist Phil Dwyer, Weeds is provided with a framework with which to explore the four corners of the compositions that were chosen for the recording.

To start this session, Weeds reaches back to the early part of the 20th Century(1906) for a little known song "At Dawning." This lovely winsome ballad is taken in a straight ahead fashion with Weeds keeping close to the melody to focus on the intimacy of the composition. Of the eight compositions recorded, three are originals by Weeds; "Waltz For Someone Special," "Alana Marie"and "Love Is Wild." Each is a diversified tasty morsel of style, substance, and mood, that provides a musical relationship between the strings and Weeds' horn.

An interesting double header is the coupling of Duke Pearson's "The Phantom" with "The In Crowd," a number that was made popular by pianist Ramsay Lewis. The tie that binds these numbers is the intricate rhythmic beat laid down by drummer Jesse Cahill and bassist John Lee. Weeds dances between the two themes with ease while picking up the layers of nuance that exist between them. Dwyer's piano sparkles with characteristic embellishments on the tonal associations with the compositions. To wrap things up, Weeds offers "There's A Boat (Dat's) Leavin' Soon For New York" written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for their ground breaking folk opera "Porgy & Bess." The number swings along gaily with Weeds offering straight melody playing but making every note count. Dwyer takes his solo opportunity to indicate that he is a wellspring of improvisation. This is an attractive addition to the Cory Weeds discography.

Track Listing

At Dawning; Waltz For Someone Special; Alana Marie; I Wish You Love; The Phantom/The In Crowd; Love Is Wild; What Is There To Say?; There's A Boat (Dat's) Leaving' Soon For New York.

Personnel

Cory Weeds: saxophone, alto; Phil Dwyer: saxophone, tenor; John Lee: bass; Jesse Cahill: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Cory Weeds: tenor saxophone; Phil Dwyer: piano; Cam Wilson: violin (lead); Llowyn Ball: violin; Elyse Jacobson: violin; Molly MacKinnon; violin; Jiten Beairsto: violin; Madeline Hocking: violin; Meredith Bates; violin; Andrea Siradze: violin: John Kastelic: viola; Genevieve MacKay: viola; Finn Manniche: cello; Doug Gorkoff: cello; Maggie Hasspacher: bass.

Album information

Title: What Is There To Say? | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Cellar Music

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