- CORY WEEDS LITTLE BIG BAND EXPLOSION WITH GUESTS P.J. PERRY, STEVE DAVIS, JOE MAGNARELLI AND GARY SMULYAN
- Cory Weeds
FRANKIE'S765 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Saxophonist Cory Weeds has spearheaded a number of ambitious and impressive projects over his tenure as owner of Cellar Live records. From world-famous bookings at his former Kitsilano supper club, to his current tenure as the creative force behind Frankie’s Jazz Club, Weeds has kept the city of Vancouver humming with his particular brand of straight-ahead, soulful jazz for nearly 20 years. Many of Weeds’ collaborations with superstar New York-based musicians have been in familiar quartet or quintet formats. With The Cory Weeds Little Big Band Explosion, Weeds is broadening his palette to include the colours - and substantial musical power - available in a larger group setting. Inspired by two of his tenor heroes, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Gene Ammons, who featured their sounds in a big band format on several occasions dating back to the late 50s, Weeds has invited a tremendous assortment of both Canadian and American musicians to join him in this new endeavour.
On the Canadian side of the border Little Big Band Explosion includes recent Order of Canada recipient P.J. Perry (Edmonton), as well as a stellar lineup of players familiar to any Vancouver jazz fan: Steve Kaldestad tenor, Chris Davis trumpet, Rod Murray trombone, Chris Gestrin piano, Paul Rushka bass, and Jesse Cahill drums. A band of just these fine Canadian players would be great listening on their own, but to this impressive core, Weeds has added some of his favourite New York musicians: trumpeter Joe Magnarelli (who appeared on Weeds’ 2016 release It’s Easy to Remember), trombonist Steve Davis (2013’s Let’s Go), and baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, a 30 year veteran of the world famous Vanguard Orchestra.
A smaller big band (10 pieces as opposed to 18) is a format that can really fly in the right arranger’s hands (see Rob McConnell, Marty Paich, or Joe Lovano for some fine examples), and to that end Little Big Band Explosion will include the arranging skill of renowned Canadian composer, arranger, and big band director Jill Townsend. Townsend and Weeds collaborated on 2015's Legacy: The Music of Ross Taggart, an emotionally charged and critically-acclaimed album of music written by the late Canadian jazz icon Ross Taggart. Townsend’s own band, the Jill Townsend Orchestra is a long-running large ensemble comprised of some of the country’s finest jazz musicians. Townsend is a composer and arranger of great depth and nuance, with an uplifting and joyous sense of what to do with the music. Little Big Band Explosion promises to be a memorable musical happening.