11

The Cookers: Time And Time Again

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The Cookers: Time And Time Again The very idea of The Cookers is something of a pleasing paradox. It's a band that's populated by some of the most impressive and seasoned veterans out there, but it plays like an anti-super group; it's a real deal band, not a big payday or business venture, and nobody's phoning it in, grandstanding, or letting any bullshit get in the way of the music.

This band has established itself as a no-nonsense outfit over the course of seven years and three previous albums, delivering music that speaks to today's ears yet recalls the rough and tumble days when its members cut their teeth on the jazz scene. Everybody involved marries intelligence and passion in their playing.

While all of these musicians are established leaders in their own right, democracy seems to rule when they get together under the banner of The Cookers. Five of the seven players contribute music to the program here, everybody gets a chance to blow, the arrangements are rock solid but malleable enough, and musical rapport is evident throughout. A hard-edged sound underscores much of this work, and the music certainly has a hard-bop meets post-bop sound to it, but few of the songs are cut from the same cloth. These men can project nobility and nostalgia before diving into the fray ("Sir Galahad"), deliver bluesy fare with a unique personality ("Slippin' And Slidin'"), fire on all cylinders ("Double Or Nothing"), and tip their collective cap to a gone-too-soon comrade ("Farewell Mulgrew").

No single player dominates during this program, but a few tend to stand out. Saxophonist Billy Harper is one of them. His playing is almost beyond belief, delivered with a level of directness and assurance that's light years removed from the studious-but-safe sound that so many younger players rely on. His brilliantly barbed blowing and brash-meets-controlled calculations make him the obvious MVP within this group of most valuable players. The other two standouts—pianist George Cables and drummer Billy Hart—deserve as much credit for their individual contributions as they do for their connectivity. They work together on a level that few pianists and drummers can reach, with bassist Cecil McBee serving as the binding agent that cements their relationship. When brought together, the aforementioned players, trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss, and the band's newest member, saxophonist Donald Harrison, make for a jazz murderers' row; they hit the ball out of the park every single time on this one.


Track Listing: Sir Galahad; Reneda; Slippin' And Slidin'; Double Or Nothing; Farewell Mulgrew; Three Fall; Time And Time Again; Dance Of The Invisible Nymph; Dance Eternal Spirits Dance.

Personnel: Billy Harper: tenor saxophone; Eddie Henderson: trumpet; David Weiss: trumpet; Donald Harrison: alto saxophone; George Cables: piano; Cecil McBee: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Motema Music


Related Video

Shop

  • Naaj
    Naaj
    The Cookers
    Believe
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Expansions: The Puzzle" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions: The Puzzle
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Azul Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Azul Infinito
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!