At #1 for a third week on this week’s JazzWeek Jazz Charts, we've been playing Cory Weeds & The Jeff Hamilton Trio's new album - This Happy Madness - on repeat! We sat down with one of our favourite jazz musicians for a quick Q&A about..well...jazz of course!
CJ: How did you initially get started, what sparked your interest in jazz?
CW: My dad is a guitarist, so there was always a lot of music around the house. I didn’t get hooked right way, but eventually I fell in love with it.
CJ: If you could pick three of your most significant musical influences, who would they be and why?
CW: Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley - his sound and his feel. Tenor saxophonist / pianist Ross Taggart - he was one of the most wonderful, caring people I have ever met, and I owe so much of what I am to him and his tutelage. He was also one of the most talented musicians I have ever met. A true expert on everything jazz. Guitarist, and my father, Bill Weeds - he fostered my love for this music. I have what I have because of HIS love for this music which he passed on to me.
CJ: How does being a musician affects the way you run Frankie's Jazz Club?
CW: I see things from both sides. I understand the needs and desires of musicians while also understanding what the business side of a club needs. It can be hard to straddle the line sometimes, but I believe my success in the industry has been because I understand the sensibilities of a musician because I am one.
CJ: What advice would you give to young musicians pursuing a career in jazz?
CW: Be a creator, don't wait for opportunities to come to you.
CJ: You emphasize the importance of being a creator, and of following your own artistic instinct. You also mention how many great musicians live in Vancouver. Who should we be looking out for?
CW: There are lots of wonderful young musicians coming up, and lots of more established musicians who are continuing to make great music. There is a new piano player town - Nick Peck - who is phenomenal, a young bass player named Jeff Gammon who is playing really wonderfully, tenor saxophonist Steve Kaldestad is a special musician as well - there are so many!
CJ: Every year, you do a jazz tour around New York City. Is there a specific location [club] you look forward to visiting the most on your tour? Why?
CW: Smoke Jazz Club and Smalls Jazz Club have always been really important to me. Those are the clubs that I tried so hard to emulate with my own club - smoke especially. These clubs completely embody what jazz clubs are supposed to be. The ambiance, the pre hang, the after hang. They are just the quintessential jazz club.
CJ: On that note, are there any upcoming shows in Vancouver you are looking forward to that we should check out?
CW: February 22 and 23 legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz is in town. I can't wait for this! March 2 and 3, as part of our Women In Jazz series, we have Laila Biali as a guest with the Jodi Pronzick's Quartet and The Helen Sung Quartet. It's going to be amazing!
CJ: What do you think was the key characteristic that made your new album so successful?
CW: That's a tough call, but I would have to say it was the combination of incredible arrangements, a mutual respect between all of the musicians, and a common goal - to swing. It's a recipe for success!
Cory Weeds with The Jeff Hamilton Trio - This Happy Madness: Cory Weeds - tenor saxophone, Jeff Hamilton - drums, Christoph Luty - bass, Tamir Hendelman - piano. Recording, April 2015 in Los Angeles, California Cellar Live (@cellarlive)
Coastal Jazz & Blues Society
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