Individually, the members of The Cookers have been at the core of the post-bop jazz scene for decades. The credentials of these seven musicians are beyond reproach, but simply gathering a group of legends and throwing them into a recording studio isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. In the case of The Cookers, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. “These guys just turned out to be the perfect combination,” says founder/trumpeter David Weiss.
It’s impossible to foresee how any ensemble will gel until the first notes are played, of course, but The Cookers had an inherent advantage in the fact that these legendary jazzmen had all proven themselves integral components in great bands of the past. Billy Harper was a member of groups led by Lee Morgan and Max Roach and served a two-year stint with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers; trumpeter Eddie Henderson and drummer Billy Hart were both part of Herbie Hancock’s electric Mwandishi ensemble; pianist George Cables played alongside Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; and bassist Cecil McBee anchored Charles Lloyd’s famed 1960s quartet with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette.
This performance is supported in part through the generosity of Bruce Powell. San Jose Jazz is grateful for the support of community members co-investing in our mission to enliven Silicon Valley through great music.