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Album Review

The Cookers Quintet: The Path

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The Cookers Quintet: The Path
The Path is the fourth record to be released by Canadian group The Cookers Quintet and is a collection of eight originals, recorded at the Warehouse, Vancouver, that were first played to live audiences on a West Canadian tour in the fall of 2021, and then put down in the studio.

The album continues the legacy of the hard bop era that dominated the jazz scene in the 1950s and 1960s and is brought to life by tenor saxophonist Ryan Oliver along with trumpeter Tim Hamel and bassist Alex Coleman. For this record, they were joined by pianist Bernie Senensky, who has performed with some of the greats, including Art Blakey and the Jazz messengers, Elvin Jones and Pharoah Sanders. Also joining the crew was drummer Joe Poole, who studied for a degree in Jazz Performance under the guidance of the late great Oscar Peterson no less.

It is hard to resist tapping one's feet along to the swinging brass, drums, bass and piano that these guys so expertly play. The opener, "Undisputed," sets the scene with a wonderful mix of Hamel's trumpet and Oliver's tenor that leaves one wanting more. "In the Paint" is pacier and the brass instruments combine beautifully, sounding like a larger ensemble; there's a bluesy edge to Senesky's piano at times, too. "Summit" keeps the pace up as the driving tenor sax vocalises with the joyful piano. Poole solos towards the end. But the title track and "Blues Down the Stairs" are more relaxed, though no less captivating.

The pace is picked up once more by "Pockets," before another slow gem, "Canyon." The album concludes with the superb "Don't Look Now," and once more to The Cookers' take on hard bop rings out strongly. Overall, this is an enjoyable album that reflects on the past but has its feet in the present.

Track Listing

Undisputed; In The Paint; Summit; The Path; Blues Down The Stairs; Pockets; Canyon; Don't Look Now

Personnel

Ryan Oliver: saxophone, tenor; Tim Hamel: trumpet; Alex Coleman: bass; Joe Poole: drums; Bernie Senensky: piano.

Album information

Title: The Path | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Do Right Music


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