The Nightcrawlers Do You Know A Good Thing? (Cellar Live 2021)


Oldies but goldies from Canada’s finest soul jazz outfit.

The Nightcrawlers - Do You Know A Good Thing?




Cory Weeds (tenor saxophone), Dave Sikula (guitar), Chris Gestrin (organ), Jessie Cahill (drums), Jack Duncan (congas)


on November 8, 2020 at The Armoury Studios, Vancouver, BC


as Cellar Live in 2021

Track listing

1974 Blues
Do You Know A Good Thing When You See One
These Foolish Things
Soulful Kiddy
Movin’ Out
New Crawl
Greasy Spoon

If there’s one group and album that fuels the desire to get back into little packed clubs and together with friends and lovers or future lovers enjoy good-time organ combo music, it’s The Nightcrawlers and their latest outing Do You Know A Good Thing?. The quintet of drummer Jesse Cahill, who started this thing with tenor saxophonist and label owner of Cellar Live, Cory Weeds, masters the art of soul jazz exceptionally well. They nail that great warm and resonant sound and style of the classic organ groups of John Patton, Brother Jack McDuff and Lou Donaldson down to the last detail.

Also, the repertoire looks smart at the (prayer) meeting. Its diversity should delight both laymen and soul jazz freaks. The Nightcrawlers get a good groove going with Eddie Harris’s 1974 Blues, make the most of Ben Tucker’s Latin-ish Devilette and swing Donald Byrd’s catchy melody Soulful Kiddy to the ground. Weeds, who has a lovely ‘lazy’ tone (the shuffle groove of the title track would literally have sufficed as bonus track on Harold Vick’s 1963 Blue Note album Steppin’ Out), is especially hot during Don Wilkerson’s catchy Movin’ Out. Not only hip contemporary soul jazz stuff, but also valid as a reminder of the soulfulness of unsung heroes like Don Wilkerson. A lot of that classic stuff featured pioneering soul jazz drummer Ben Dixon, who must’ve been a great influence on Cahill. Guitarist David Sikula’s fuzzy sound meshes well with the group and Sikula’s playing is spicy and balanced throughout.

While New Crawl features drum and conga intermezzos that stoke up the fire on the corner somewhere in the bowels of Spanish Harlem, Hank Marr’s Greasy Spoon, a classic blues line and minor hit in the chitlin’ circuit of black clubs in the 1960’s, features organist Chriss Gestrin, whose punchy and crunchy patterns and sultry sound combine with Cahill’s bossy and nifty playing to make this record such a pleasurable affair. Greasy Spoon is taken at an extra-leisurely tempo, which adds to the enormous groove and grease that The Nightcrawlers cook up. Indeed, it will be very likely to hear someone say to his pal over the music at the end of the bar: “Man, these cats really cook.”

The Nightcrawlers

Find Do You Know A Good Thing? here.

Cellar Live


If you’re not already familiar with it, you need to take a look at Cellar Live, one of the freshest independent jazz labels out there.

Cellar Live was formed in 2001 by tenor saxophonist, impresario and club owner Cory Weeds, who began taping the performances of visiting artists in his Cellar Club in Vancouver, Canada.

By now, his label consists of Cellar Live, Cellar Music and ReelToReal, subsequently focusing on live records, studio projects and archival releases. The latest historical release was Johnny Griffin/Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis’s Ow. See review here.

Cellar Live’s aesthetic of honoring and extending the mainstream jazz tradition is expressed through recordings of, among others, Grant Stewart, Joe Magnarelli, Jeb Patton, Emmet Cohen, Scott Hamilton, Mike LeDonne, Adam Shulman, Louis Hayes, Cannonball Adderley and Cory Weeds himself, who among other endeavors lauds one of modern jazz’s greatest stylists, Hank Mobley, both in the studio and on stage. His record label’s organ combo roster features Ben Paterson, among others.

The newest release in Cellar Live’s ReelToReal division will be George Coleman’s In Baltimore – due November 27, Record Store Day Black Friday. The statement of Zev Feldman, producer and collaborator of Cory Weeds, reads as follows:

“The George Coleman Quintet “In Baltimore” was captured live at the Famous Ballroom on May 23, 1971, presented by the Left Bank Jazz Society, and featured a stellar band with trumpeter Danny Moore, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Harold White. The limited-edition 180g LP includes an elaborate insert with beautiful photos by Francis Wolff, intros by Cory and I, a main overview essay by the great jazz historian/archivist Michael Cuscuna, plus interviews with “the Big G” himself George Coleman, John Fowler from the Left Bank, and the self-described Coleman disciple, tenor man Eric Alexander.”

Top-notch jazz and the roots-y vibe of the label, which gives meticulous care to detail in the presentation of its hip record covers and includes a number of endearing references to classic sleeve art, makes rummaging through its recordings a very joyful experience.

Check out Cellar Live’s website here.