Cory Weeds’ Just Like That goes down smooth
Just Like That (Cellar Live)
Cory Weeds is the opposite of a talking dog: it’s not remarkable that a jazz-club owner should play saxophone, but it’s always surprising when one does it this well.
The proprietor of Vancouver’s Cellar Jazz nightclub—and the Cellar Live record label, too—Weeds is devoted to a fairly conservative vision. On alto sax, he’s been influenced by the bebop stalwarts of the 1940s, the hard-boppers who followed them, and the soul-jazzers of the swinging ’60s. He’s primarily a lyrical player; those more attuned to modern angularity will want to look elsewhere. I’d never dis Weeds for this, though. His obvious passion and ability come through clearly, and on this new live recording he’s accompanied by three similarly gifted players: pianist Tilden Webb, bassist Jodi Proznick, and drummer Jesse Cahill. The results are certainly easy to listen to.
The only complaint here is that the music sometimes slips into easy-listening terrain, especially when Webb steps away from the acoustic piano and turns to the Fender Rhodes. The pianist has a gorgeous touch on his primary instrument, but its electric equivalent flattens out his attack, which in turn makes the music sound more generic than it otherwise might.
That’s only an issue on two of the album’s 10 tracks, though. Otherwise, Just Like That is a beguiling example of four fine musicians having some serious fun.