Cory Weeds teams with Phil Dwyer and string orchestra on What is There to Say?
Having such an established career in the broad scope of Canadian jazz, it was important for Weeds to give Dwyer the ability to leave a creative imprint over all eight tunes on the record, even the ones written by Weeds himself. “I gave Phil carte blanche,” he says. “I said to him, ‘Look, if you don’t like my originals, you are not going to hurt my feelings.’”
But Dwyer saw potential in Weeds’ originals, enough to want to arrange them himself. “Phil said, ‘Oh yeah, I can really make these good.’ Which, coming from him, was very flattering … In some ways, [What is There to Say?] is almost more of a Phil Dwyer record; it’s really about the arrangements and the writing and the ensemble, rather than the individual playing.”
A major influence that contributed to the record was Gary Smulyan With Strings, which provided a template for Weeds and Dwyer to guide their experimentations with a 13-piece string orchestra.
The result is an album that comes off as lush, crafty and decidedly contemporary, rather than a rendition of jazz standards with baroque sensibilities.
The new album follows O Sole Mio! Music From the Motherland, Weeds’ jazz take on classic and contemporary Italian music that was released in early 2021.
Here’s the track listing for What is There to Say?:
- At Dawning
- The Phantom in the In Crowd
- What is There to Say
- Love is Wild
- Waltz for Someone Special
- Alana Marie
- I Wish You Love
- There’s a Boat Leavin’ Soon for New York
What is There to Say arrives Nov. 19 via Cellar Music.