|Condition Blue: The Music Of Jackie McLean|
Cory Weeds — Condition Blue: The Music Of Jackie McLean
★Ξ★ Acknowledging a saxophonist who had an exploratory vision.
★Ξ★ Jazz Impresario, Saxophonist, Keynote Speaker and Record Label Owner
★Ξ★ Juno–nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year 2013Location: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Album release: Apr 28, 2015
Recording date: November 12, 2014
Record Label: Cellar Live
01. Condition Blue 5:26
02. Slumber 6:05
03. Capushin Swing 6:35
04. My Old Flame 5:53
05. ‘Snuff 5:43
06. Marilyn’s Dilemna 5:21
07. Das Dat 6:04
08. Jacknife 6:05
09. Bluesanova 7:43
10. Blues in Jiff 6:34
℗ 2015 Cellar Live
Ξ★ Cory Weeds — Alto Saxophone
Ξ★ Mike LeDonne — Hammond B3 Organ
Ξ★ Peter Bernstein — Guitar
Ξ★ Joe Farnsworth — Drums
Ξ★ J. McLean 1, 3, 5, 7
Ξ★ L. Morgan 2, 9
Ξ★ A. Johnston 4
Ξ★ B. Higgins 6
Ξ★ S. Clark 10
Ξ★ Peter Bernstein Guitar
Ξ★ Jesse Cahill Cover Photo
Ξ★ S. Clark Composer
Ξ★ Joe Farnsworth Drums
Ξ★ Chris Gestrin Mastering
Ξ★ Ian Hendrickson–Smith Graphic Design, Layout
Ξ★ B. Higgins Composer
Ξ★ A. Johnston Composer
Ξ★ Mike LeDonne Hammond B3, Liner Notes
Ξ★ J. McLean Composer
Ξ★ Jackie McLean Tributee
Ξ★ L. Morgan Composer
Ξ★ Chris Sulit Mixing
Ξ★ Cory Weeds Executive Producer, Inside Photo, Liner Notes, Producer, Sax (Alto)
Pierre Giroux, Score: ****
★Ξ Jackie McLean was a hard–bop alto saxophonist with a fiery tight tone, who recorded extensively in the ‘50s and ‘60s mainly with Blue Note Records. Although his forays with an organ was confined to two albums with Jimmy Smith Open House and Plain Talk, Cory Weeds’ decision to use an organ on this session does not stray off the mark. Condition Blue accomplishes the band’s intention, to acknowledge a saxophonist who had an exploratory vision.
★Ξ In a set list of either McLean originals, or compositions associated with him, this tight–knit band delivers the goods in firm, yet flexible style. The key players in this session in addition, to the cooly effective altoist Weeds, are Mike LeDonne, a B–3 player of energetic disposition, and creative guitarist Peter Bernstein. Also along is drummer Joe Farnsworth who is a propulsive player.
★Ξ The session begins with the title track “Condition Blue” which is one of McLean’s own compositions. From the getgo, this is a hard swinger with Weeds doggedly self–assured, Bernstein then following in an unfussy fashion, before LeDonne briskly adds his voice. Another McLean original is “Capuchin Swing” which along with the previous number comes from McLean’s album of the same name for Blue Note in 1960. Driven by Farnsworth’s quicksilver drumming, Bernstein sets the pace with a long sinewy solo, after which Weeds shows that he is a skilfully inspired player.
★Ξ Not to be outdone, LeDonne chimes in with some bopish phrasing.
★Ξ “My Old Flame” is offered in a relaxed groove, with Weeds running through the melody before Bernstein picks up the bridge, and Weeds again completes the theme, before taking off in solo mode. Throughout the number, the band shows that they can play with uncomplicated cohesion. The two other McLean originals are “‘Snuff” and “ Das Dat”. On the former, the number starts off with some intricate interplay between Weeds and Bernstein, before Weeds expands the theme with a sure–footed solo. Bernstein then slides into an incisive improvisation, with LeDonne swirling around on the B–3. On the latter composition, the band finds an earthiness in the structure of the tune, that inundates the music with fluency.
★Ξ Of the remaining tracks, one of the more interesting is “Bluesanova” written by Lee Morgan, that appeared on McLean’s album Consequence, on which he shared the front line with trumpeter Morgan. The band pitches their interpretation with a bossa nova time signature, coupled with a hard–bop line, and some soul–jazz thrown in for good measure. All in all, the band shows that they are sympathetic and sophisticated collaborators. ~ Pierre Giroux ★Ξ http://audaud.com/
★Ξ A tenor saxophonist with an expressive sound rooted in Jazz tradition, a label owner tirelessly documenting unsung Jazz heroes, one of Canada’s most important Jazz impresarios, the hardest–working man in Jazz business — Cory Weeds is all of these things, and much more.
★Ξ Weeds may be best known as the founder and owner of Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, which he successfully ran for more than 13 years. Weeds built the Cellar to become one of North America’s best Jazz clubs, where masters such as George Coleman, Jeff Hamilton, Louis Hayes, David “Fathead” Newman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and the finest Jazz musicians from Vancouver and across Canada performed before it closed in February 2014.
★Ξ But he wasn’t just the club owner. As a saxophonist who studied at the University of North Texas and Capilano College, Weeds spent many nights on the Cellar bandstand as a leader and sideman. He held his own when performing with icons like Joey DeFrancesco and Christian McBride. Weeds has also recorded nine albums as a leader, including: Condition Blue, The Music Of Jackie McLean (with Peter Bernstein, Mike LeDonne, and Joe Farnsworth)., As Of Now (with the Harold Mabern Trio), Let’s Go (with Steve Davis), the Juno–nominated Up A Step (Cory Weeds Quartet), With Benefits (with Lewis Nash and Peter Washington), Just Like That (with the Tilden Webb Trio), The Many Deeds of Cory Weeds (with Joey DeFrancesco), Everything’s Coming Up Weeds (with Jim Rotondi), and Big Weeds (with Peter Bernstein, Mike LeDonne, and Joe Farnsworth). In November 2o16 Weeds will release his 10th album: Happy Madness was recorded in L.A. in collaboration with The Jeff Hamilton Trio.
★Ξ While the Cellar is now a happy memory, the record label Weeds established in 2001 is alive and well. Cellar Live has put out close to 100 recordings, including many that have spent extensive time on the JazzWeek charts, with many more releases planned. In addition to playing on numerous sessions, Weeds has also served as producer on more than 80 recordings.
★Ξ On the presentation front, Weeds founded a new non–profit organization: the Cellar Jazz Society. Dedicated to fostering public education, understanding, and appreciation of Jazz by presenting performances at public venues and educational institutions. CJS did exactly that by presenting its inaugural series of Jazz concerts in April 2014 at Pyatt Hall, a state–of–the–art theatre in downtown Vancouver. The society has since been put on hold as it joins forces with Coastal Jazz to present The Cellar Jazz Series.
★Ξ Weeds is also programming Jazz at the renowned Francesco’s Restaurant on Burrard Street and a monthly series at The Italian Cultural Center as well as presenting concerts at various other venues around Vancouver under Cory Weeds Presents
★Ξ Beyond Vancouver, Weeds has a strong affinity with New York City. He brought so many of the Jazz mecca’s top players to his club, and has performed, toured, and recorded with many of them. Tapping in to his insider knowledge of the New York scene, he has led the New York With Weeds tour to NYC four times. Weeds leads about 40 Jazz lovers on each tour to Jazz clubs off the beaten track and private recording sessions. The sixth tour will happen in March 2016.
★Ξ Finally, Weeds has also worked as an educator, leading the BC Music Educators Association’s Honour Ensemble, giving clinics, and teaching privately. He has also been a Jazz disc jockey on Vancouver Co–Op Radio.
|Condition Blue: The Music Of Jackie McLean|