Cory Weeds Quartet

Day By Day
(Cellar)

One of the leading lights in Canadian jazz, Vancouver-based saxophonist Cory Weeds wears multiple hats north of the border. An educator, producer and label chief, Weeds also owned the city’s Cellar Jazz Club from 2000 until its closure in 2014.

Here, however, Weeds is back in fine form in his role as a leader and features a new quartet that includes pianist David Hazeltine. A veteran who’s backed Eddie Harris and Chet Baker, among others, Hazeltine plays beautifully alongside Weeds’ lush tone. “It’s Easy To Remember,” memorably performed by the likes of Billie Holiday and Shirley Horn, begins on a rambunctious note from drummer Jesse Cahill before Weeds mashes on the accelerator and navigates a maze of swerving runs with Hazeltine matching him stride-for-stride. And yet, the record’s standout moments draw from a different lineage. Hazeltine’s “Relatively Minor” carries a head-bobbing drive in the pianist’s nimble hands, while the ballad “Sterling Silver Sailboat” offers an uncommon tenderness. Written by Weeds’ father, the song unfurls slowly as the saxophonist maneuvers through the melody’s twists and turns with loving care. It’s maybe a less-familiar moment than those that came before, but one that’s no less memorable.