By Kerilie McDowall | Published November 2018
Canadian saxophonist, JUNO-winning producer and Cellar Live owner Cory Weeds has assembled some of his favorite Vancouver, Edmonton and New York musicians for an album that offers up loving respect of the jazz tradition. Explosion brings a fuller sound to Weeds’ 11-piece Little Big Band, sourced from a nostalgic repertoire, and 1950s and ’60s small-ensemble compositions. “Minor Mishap” captures the warmth of Tommy Flanagan’s 1959 The Cats, as upbeat, spirited solos by trombonist Steve Davis and trumpeter Joe Magnerelli precede Weeds’ heartfelt saxophone. Benny Golson’s laid-back ballad “Park Avenue Petit” finds an impassioned Weeds creating a relaxed mood, before revisiting the 1956 hit “Canadian Sunset.” Weeds and three additional reedists cap off the album with the fiery “Ready & Able.” The Jimmy Smith burner features a frolic of the high-energy saxophone section, questing through “Rhythm” changes and finishing up the session with a suave and sizzling finale.
Explosion: Minor Mishap; Soon; East Of The Village; Park Avenue Petite; My Girl Is Just Enough Woman For Me; Canadian Sunset; K.D.’s Motion; Please Send Me Someone To Love; Ready & Able. (60:20)
Personnel: Cory Weeds, Steve Kaldestad, tenor saxophone; Pj Perry, alto saxophone; Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone; Rod Murray, Steve Davis, trombone; Joe Magnarelli, Chris Davis, trumpet; Chris Gestrin, piano; Paul Rushka, bass; Jesse Cahill, drums; Bill Coon, arranger (1, 3, 5, 7, 9); Jill Townsend, arranger (2, 4, 6, 8), conductor.