All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

11

The Cookers: Time And Time Again

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Time And Time Again | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Motema Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Naaj

Naaj

The Cookers
Believe

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again

Motéma Music
2015

buy
Time And Time Again

Time And Time Again

Motema Music
2014

buy
Believe

Believe

Motema Music
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Ain't It Grand? CD/LP/Track Review
Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read If Not Now, When? CD/LP/Track Review
If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Perfectly Unhappy CD/LP/Track Review
Perfectly Unhappy
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Sonic Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "The Conscience" CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Rev" CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Pneuma" CD/LP/Track Review Pneuma
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "The Bowels Of Jupiter" CD/LP/Track Review The Bowels Of Jupiter
by Don Phipps
Published: March 6, 2018