By likemindblog

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CORY WEEDS, Canadian born Vancouver resident, not only owns his own jazz club The Jazz Cellar, he also runs his own record label Cellar Live, has his own radio show, yet still finds time to play tenor sax in his own ensemble!  His new album Everything’s Coming Up Weeds.  This man is busy!  Here’s part II of his interview, do enjoy!

No. 6)  Do you identify with your music and if so, on what level.

Yes, I do. I mean one of the things that makes you a true artist is forging your own voice, your own sound, your own individuality.  I’m not a pioneer or an innovator but I write my own music and I think I’m pretty easy to pick out in terms of my sound and approach so I feel that I am unique in that way. I think I eluded to it earlier that I think there is way way way to much emphasis put on innovating and re-inventing the wheel and I think it’s seriously misguided.  There is this idea that if you’re not pushing the music forward you’re not valid or your music is not valid.  That’s a sad statement.  There is nothing wrong with playing music rooted in the tradition and finding uniqueness in yourself within that tradition. 

When I listen to a recording of myself I really listen back to it to see if it sounds like me at that time. My first record ‘Big Weeds’ was a pretty big deal for me to make. I had a great New York rhythm section behind me and I was_DSC5998 quite nervous. Upon listening back to the rough mixes I was quite happy simply because I thought it was a great representation of me and how I sound and what I was working through musically at that time.  Are there things I would’ve liked to have done differently? Yes of course but I thought it was great representation.

No. 7)  When do you do your best work?  (Environment, alone or with other musicians, night, day, etc.)

I think my best comes when I am in control of the situation. That’s why I am not a big fan or participator in the jam sessions. It’s not that I can’t do it but I don’t enjoy it. I am often at my best when I am the leader of a band, picking the tunes etc. etc.  There is another thing that often happens to me and I will give you an example. A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of playing with The Tilden Webb Trio. I was really excited, I practiced a lot leading up to it and felt like we were gonna make great music. On the day of the gig I was all ramped up. I went to the gym, had a good sleep, ate well and the club was busy so everything was in place.  The 1st set was really burning in all aspects but I found I couldn’t sustain it for the whole night and found myself not being happy with the night over all. I started ‘caring’ too much in the second set.  The next night I was exhausted. My son didn’t sleep that night, my wife and I were cranky and we just had a rough day as new parents. When I walked into the gig Jodi (the bassist) knew what I was going through as she is a new mom.  Basically I didn’t care how the night went down, I just went up not caring, knowing I had to play two sets of music and then I could go home. Not a great attitude right? Well, my not caring actually made it an extremely rewarding night for myself, the band and the audience. My lack of ‘caring’ seemed to put my head games to rest momentarily and I managed to reach a new level without expecting it.  That is not the first time I have said that.  I have many examples of that. 

No. 8)  Does music help you connect with your “Higher Self” what ever that may be for you, and if so, please elaborate.

Again, back to my lack of philosophical thinking I talked about earlier. I think I have a higher self and I think I connect with it but I’m not sure I know how to put it into words or even describe what it is.  I do know that I’m a happier, more complete and content person when I’m playing more.  Sometimes I wonder if I would be happier overall is I just concentrated on being a musician but I love too  many of the other things that I do. 

_DSC6022No. 9)  What is it about jazz that you like so much?

I love the spontaneity of it. It’s never the same.  You can get so much out of the smallest aspect of the music like when you hear the drummer do a shot or the way the bassist plays a certain note, the chord voicings that the pianist uses etc.  I love the rich history that the music has.  My era is the 50’s and early 60’s. Bluenote Records, Prestige Records were so cool. The musicians were so cool, the sounds, the music. Everything about it is so amazing.  So much of the history of the music is lost today with young musicians.  Everyone is always trying to create something new and be innovative they forget where the music started etc.

Whenever I get a bit down about the ‘jazz business’ I read Richard Cook’s Blue Note Records book and it inspires me an unbelievable amount. I love that book. I have read it probably 10 times from front to back.  Look at the cover to Hank Mobely’s Soul Station and then listen to the album. Its a masterpiece and everything about it just smells of COOL.

I think a person of my dedication and perseverance could’ve done really well in that era. I wish I was born in 1930!

No. 10)  Tell me a bit about your club in Vancouver, what made you decide to start it?

I wanted to start the club because there was nowhere I could go see my heroes and mentors that I had growing up. I wanted to hear people like Cam Ryga, Ross Taggart, PJ Perry, Oliver Gannon etc. etc. and I couldn’t.  I managed to suck my dad into helping me out and voila – The Cellar!  I thought that I could be more successful than other people at running a club because I understand the musician side of things. Understanding that is key.  I think the musicians trust me because they know I’m one of them and at the very least I can see their side of things. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been the key factor in making us a success at least with the musicians.  Running a club is hard and it seems in these crazy times it gets harder and harder but it’s important to keep it going and I work to ensure its existence.

That’s what I call love of Jazz!  Cory, thank you so much for this most interesting interview.  Good luck in all your endeavours and until we meet again, be blessed! 


How far would you go for your passion?

 please be sure to visit Cory’s links.




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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, January 22nd, 2010


I wish I lived in Vancouver so that I could drop by your club.


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours