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Live Review: 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival

Every year the Playboy Jazz Festival, held at the 19,000-capacity Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, is a roll of the dice in regards to mainstream performances. Festival attendees looking for straight-ahead jazz this year had to patiently abide funk, Afro-futurism, world, R&B, fusion, Latin, and even rock sets. For uninitiated, unfamiliar, and curious listeners, that … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival”

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The Cookers: The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart

Hard bop, soul jazz and postbop are the domain of the Cookers. Few bands perform their chosen variety of jazz with as much style, integrity and vigor as this group featuring five under-celebrated veteran players-tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart-plus trumpeter David Weiss, who … Read More “The Cookers: The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart”

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The Cookers: Time and Time Again

For their fourth release, the Cookers have swapped out saxophonist Craig Handy for Donald Harrison, raising the median age of the septet to just under 70. All of that longevity doesn’t mean complacency, however: The 69-year-old pianist George Cables, septuagenarians Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Billy Harper (tenor saxophone), Cecil McBee (bass) and Billy Hart (drums) and … Read More “The Cookers: Time and Time Again”

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The Cookers: Believe

Few all-star groups are also working bands. The personnel of the Cookers has been stable for half a decade. They play 30 to 40 gigs a year and have now made three albums. They are Billy Harper (tenor saxophone), Craig Handy (alto saxophone), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), George Cables (piano), Cecil McBee (bass) and Billy Hart … Read More “The Cookers: Believe”

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The Cookers: Warriors

David Weiss’ most important contributions to jazz have been the projects he conceives and coordinates. His latest undertaking is the Cookers, whose members have 250 years of collective experience and more than 1,000 recording credits. Weiss plays trumpet and Craig Handy plays alto saxophone and flute. Then there are five major but somewhat overlooked heavy … Read More “The Cookers: Warriors”

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