”On a blustery night at The New Orleans Jazz Festival The Cookers raised the temperature to a thermonuclear level. A remarkable band was at the peak of its collective powers!” That’s how one critic recently described this septet live. Being a unit of totally tested old foxes, the band has the kind of charisma that only follows from long experience on stage and in studio. Nobody plays hard and post bop more passionately than these guys, and when they take little dips into free jazz, that, too, works great.
The Cookers, whose line-up sometimes shifts a tad according to circumstances, started five years ago. They have so far done three albums, of which the latest, last spring’s Believe, has been praised as their best. It has a multi-faceted character, as one can guess from a band, where almost all members compose. Every real jazz fan knows that if the horns are handled by Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Donald Harrison and David Weiss, the rhythm section is Billy Hart and Cecil McBee, and those ends are held together by pianist George Cables, the resulting music is deep, intense and imaginative.