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The Cookers


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The Cookers are hard-wired into the golden era of jazz history, but they use tradition as a foundation for creative fury in the present moment.


Player for player, there’s no better working band in jazz than the Cookers.

Boston Globe

This hard-hitting septet wears its name like a mission statement. Rich with a mix of classical elegance and exploration, the group might reference the past by name, but it never sounds less than current.

—Los Angeles Times

Comprising trumpeters David Weiss and Eddie Henderson, saxophonists Billy Harper and Donald Harrison, pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Billy Hart, the fiery group of jazz virtuosos collectively represents over 250 years of experience and more than 1,000 recordings.

Legendary veterans of the hard bop jazz style of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Cookers perform newly arranged versions of classic compositions by Billy Harper and George Cables along with works by the other members of the ensemble. While giants in their own right, the members of this ensemble have performed and/or recorded with pretty much every jazz great of the past forty years, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, and Roy Haynes, to name just a few.

Hard bop emerged out of the bebop era of Gillespie and Parker, with players like Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard. The genre’s intensely swinging groove includes soul, blues, and gospel influences; extended harmonies; and blistering solos. No single album captures the mystique of the hard-bop era better than The Night of the Cookers, from which the group takes its name, recorded for the Blue Note label in 1965. This memorable septet performance was recorded before a beautifully responsive audience at Brooklyn’s Club La Marchal where Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan engaged in a trumpet battle for the ages. The Cookers draws its inspiration from the possibilities of such incendiary nights by combining some of the greatest musicians from that era with some of this generation’s more fiery players.

After ten years together, the group recently released their fifth album, The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart, the follow-up album to their four previous critically-acclaimed recordings.

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