The Cookers in Albuquerque

Greta Chapin McGill - August 6, 2013

On August 10, 2013 the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater will host The Cookers, an exciting jazz “super group.”

Jazz is the quintessential African American classical and original musical expression. The music has undergone many metamorphoses.  Some say it is the adaptation by African American musicians of European musical theory. One thing is clear, improvisation is a key element of the music and this daring approach gives jazz its spontaneous flavor.

On August 10, 2013 the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater will host The Cookers, an exciting jazz “super group.” The group is a soulful stew of jazz veterans who combine to flavor the atmosphere with a brand of music filled with dreamy sounds and hot intense musical exchanges. These dynamic players are forging new ground. 

Made up of Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, David Weiss and Craig Handy The Cookers are moving jazz into a new era. There is no shortage of experience in the group and each of these talented players has an extensive resume with no shortage of notable collaborations. This band had no choice but to be great. These guys complement each other -- you can tell they have an excellent time playing together and supporting the music they love.

The Cookers take their name from the classic Freddie Hubbard two-volume set “Night of the Cookers.” Hubbard assembled a stellar band for that effort. Composed of the legendary Lee Morgan, Harold Mabern, James Spaulding, Pete LaRoca, Larry Ridley and Big Black. This was a live recording. You can feel the excitement and spontaneity of a smoky jazz venue when you hear this stellar jam session. This new incarnation of The Cookers does not disappoint. They up the musical ante like adding a different spice to a classic New Orleans gumbo.

Listening is truly believing. The band's critically acclaimed releases, Cast the First Stone (2011), Warriors (2010), and Believe (2012) consist of music written by members of the band and offerings by Harold Mabern and Freddie Hubbard. The energy of the band in live performance is not to be missed.

The show starts at 5 p.m. Get there. This is a band that rarely plays the Southwest. It’s not often you can see musical history in the making, The Cookers have every element to insure their place in Jazz history. They have proved themselves to be a formidable force in the music today, their concept is precise. They aim for superb performance. They take chances and make musical memories.