Vancouver tenor saxophonist Cory Weeds and his quartet performs at the Lighthouse Bistro on Aug. 20. (Photo courtesy Randy Cole)

Jazz saxophonist touring the West Coast with one of his heroes

Weeds to play the Lighthouse Bistro with New York pianist David Hazeltine on Aug. 20

Cory Weeds said a lot of his friends started out as his heroes and mentors and at an upcoming show, the Vancouver jazz saxophonist will be introducing Nanaimo audiences to one of them.

Weeds has known prolific New York jazz pianist David Hazeltine for 15 years and they have collaborated in the past. On Weeds’s upcoming West Coast tour, which comes to the Lighthouse Bistro on Aug. 20, Hazeltine will be sitting in with the rest of Weeds’s band – Vancouver drummer Jesse Cahill and Qualicum Beach’s Ken Lister on bass.

Weeds said it’s not good to have a “hero complex” when it comes to playing with musicians one admires and has since replaced his reverence with respect.

“The beautiful thing about David is that the respect is mutual so it’s been an easy transition into friend and contemporary,” Weeds said. “But I always have in the forefront of my mind that he did a lot of stuff, he’s played with a lot of people, he’s a very smart guy. So as long as I remain open, I’ll learn a lot and grow a lot as a musician.”

Throughout the tour, which will also take Weeds and Hazeltine to Vancouver, Victoria and Fort Bragg, Calif., the pair will be playing originals and “hip arrangements” of Great American Songbook tunes. Once the tour wraps up, they’ll be taking those songs and recording an album together.

“It’s not life-changing, it’s not boundary pushing, it’s not any of those things,” Weeds said of the material. “It’s just straight-up, hard swinging jazz music. I don’t really know how to put it any other way.”

Because they’ll be playing the songs multiple times while on the road, Weeds anticipates everything will be done in one take. He said the tour is kind of a “pre-production” stage for the album.

“We can make changes to things before we go into the studio and just make sure that we’re happy with everything and we’ll do a little rewrite or change a thing here or there,” he said. “But essentially what you hear is what’s going to be recorded.”

WHAT’S ON … The Cory Weeds Quartet plays the Lighthouse Bistro, 50 Anchor Way, on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets $20, $15 for students, available at the venue, Fascinating Rhythm, Arbutus Music or online.

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