Sep 8, 2010
“Warriors” is a most apt title for a CD from The Cookers, a “super group” of jazz stars who cut their teeth on late Sixties hard bop. Taking their group name from a 1965 Blue Note album by the late, great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (“The Night of the Cookers: Live at Club La Marchal”), the septet work through seven numbers written by members of the group, and one cover, all performed at the highest level.
Billy Harper’s sax solo on Hubbard’s “The Core”, sets the tone for the album with a driving, flowing tone that slides gracefully in and around the pulsing horn charts. Trumpeter Dr. Eddie Henderson shines on bassist Cecil McBee’s “Lady Bugg”, a blues that finds Cables laying down the theme, before his horn cuts through the band’s backing with soulful style that recalls Miles Davis.
Craig Handy doubles on saxophone and flute, taking the lead on the two songs written by Pianist George Cables. “Spookarella” is particularly memorable, as Handy takes a tripping solo after the lead-in, playing off Cables’ bouncing right hand.
Trumpeter David Weiss deserves kudos for his arrangements, whcih allow these talented soloists to mesh into a - well, cooking group. John Lee's Jazz Legacy label has another winner.