Take a group of heavyweight jazz masters — the kind who helped to make the classic records that defined the modern idiom — and put them together on stage: Of course there'll be fireworks. But the all-star collection known as The Cookers has cohered into a band which has toured for five years now, and released three albums of mostly original compositions. Their latest, 2012's Believe, proudly captures this band's meat-and-potatoes spirit, and brings some deserved attention to its members' storied and ongoing careers. The Cookers authentically deliver the adventurous loose assembly of hard-bop's past, a hard-swinging flavor that remains vital today.
The Cookers followed Geri Allen's Timeline quartet on stage at the 92Y Tribeca in downtown New York City, as part of the WBGO concert series The Checkout: Live. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live radio broadcast and online video webcast of the twin bill. For the full concert archive of this series, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.
- "Capra Black" (Harper)
- "Ebony Moonbeams" (Cables)
- "Believe, For It Is True" (Harper) [video highlight]
- "Sweet Rita Suite, Pt. 2" (Cables)
- "The Core" (Hubbard)
- Billy Harper, tenor saxophone
- Eddie Henderson, trumpet
- David Weiss, trumpet
- Craig Handy, alto saxophone
- George Cables, piano
- Cecil McBee, bass
- Billy Hart, drums
Producer and Host: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes; Video Director: Stew Nachmias. Recorded Dec. 12, 2012 at 92Y Tribeca in New York, N.Y. Photo by John Rogers for NPR.