The Cookers: ‘All-star septet heats up the Cistern in Charleston, S.C.’

“…incendiary performances. The only mellowing agents all evening long were bassist McBee, who merely smoked on his solo in his own “Peacemaker,” and trumpeter David Weiss, organizer of the group and its spokesman, whose sizzling solos actually seemed to cool things down amid this torrid zone of horns.

Tenor saxophonist Harper, brooding by the keyboard near Cables and playing a gruff, disconnected cadenza, clued us into how it would be. This turbulence was before Harper joined the other horns downstage for the four-barreled launch of his “Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart,” the title tune of the band’s most recent release. Within moments of its brash and brassy opening salvo, Harper seemed to have the stage all to himself, totally possessed as he unleashed a snarling, squealing, epic rant that announced he was ready for more than a cutting contest—he was geared up for a knife fight.

When Henderson returned to his mic with his trumpet and Harrison followed with his alto sax, each man soloed as if Harper’s gauntlet had been tossed at him, dueling with the tenor great and with each other. After Henderson answered Harper’s fury with some awesome flame-throwing, Harrison didn’t flinch, firing off a face-melting solo of his own. “

Perry Tannenbaum, Jazz Times Read Full Review


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