Press

“Player for player, there’s 
no better working band in jazz than The Cookers.”
-Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“A dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop”
-Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“This hard-hitting septet wears its name like a mission statement. Rich with a mix of classic elegance and exploration, the group might reference the past by name, but it never sounds less than current.
”
-Chris Barton, The Los Angeles Times

“A remarkable band at the height of its collective powers.”
-Chris Waddington, The Times-Picayune

“This is the greatest jazz super-band working.”
-Charles L. Latimer, Detroit Metro Times

“Talk about truth in advertising: The Cookers, an eye-popping septet, offers the promise of broiling intensity … the blend of experience and youth, the rich orchestration possibilities offered by four horns, and especially the distinctive collection of personalities giv es the band a unique complexion.”
-Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

“With Believe, The Cookers hooked me from the first horn blast on the first tune, “Believe, For It Is True.” This masterpiece alone, composed and arranged by tenor genius Billy Harper, should be enough for jazz fans to buy the whole darn album. (They) are some of the best composers, arrangers and musicians we have in jazz, and they’re working together in one of the most exciting super-groups we’ve seen in a long, long time. The arrangements, handled by Harper and Weiss, are outrageously wonderful. And the musicians just kill it on every tune. This is a group of the world’s best musicians who have nothing to prove to anyone, but they prove it all on Believe.”
-Frank Alkyer, Down Beat Magazine

“The Cookers are hard-wired into the golden era of jazz history, but they use tradition as a foundation for creative fury in the present moment.”
-Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times

Believe it: The new Cookers CD is amazing. It’s one of those rare albums that come along a handful of times a year, that will blow you away the first time you give it a close listen. This one has gravitas, rich melodic beauty and all sorts of deep playing and interplay. Interestingly, much as this band is all about power and fiery chops, it’s the compositions here that absolutely slay.                                                                                                                                                                     –Lucid Culture

Believe is a cooker, indeed. Consisting of seven originals and a Wayne Shorter tune (“Free For All”) and featuring rich, thick, smart arrangements by Weiss, Believe bristles with fiery conviction from start to finish.
-Paul de Barros, Seattle Times

“”Priestess” launches Harper like a slingshot: There is no tenor saxophonist in current jazz whose entrance can create such a jolt of adrenaline. (There was once one named Coltrane.)”
-Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times

“If you wondered what has happened to all the passion and intensity, once such essential ingredients of great swinging jazz and now virtually non-existent in so much of today’s outpourings, you’ll find it all in The Cookers.”
-Tony Hall, Jazzwise Magazine

“The Cookers reunites several musicians whose decades-long associations affirm the progressive spirit of early ‘70s straight-ahead jazz, one which is always needed now more than ever. Subsequently, the veterans’ consistently sterling work is presented within a context that is organic, the polar opposite of most all-star band schemes.”
-Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure

“This lineup that has jelled magnificently, and their new CD, Believe (Motema Music), may even surpass last year’s Cast the First Stone in terms of drive and camaraderie. But everyone here is giving it their all, and it shows. The fire burns as much now as it did then, and the music on Believe is both a tribute to the veterans in the group and a contemporary life force.”
-Denver Post

“On this second release, Blue Note values prevail: hard-driving rhythms; soulful solos; exuberant ensemble work; a feeling that jazz is a serious, meaningful calling but also fun. The composer’s raw, impassioned lead and the ensemble’s intense, jabbing responses quickly indicate that this is a special session. A slower section expands the horn harmony, and there’s that old revered Blue Note sound hitting you in your head-to-heart circuitry.”
-Owen Cordle, Jazz Times

“This is the perfect album for anyone who says they don’t record jazz albums like they used to.”
-Jack Garner, Democrat and Chronicle

“You’re not likely to hear a better set of straight-ahead jazz at a local club this year.”
-Time Out New York

Cast the First Stone cooks like crazy. Its seven tracks feature a lot of righteous bashing from veteran jazzmen who play with remarkable vigour and risk-taking. Drawing equally on the wall-of-sound horn section of an Art Blakey Messengers band and on the maximum drums/modal fury esthetic of the great John Coltrane Quartet, The Cookers raise the bar for intensity in this style of jazz. You could think of this disc as a sequel of sorts to the seminally powerful Blakey disc Free For All.”
-Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Believe begins with one of Harper’s preaching thunderbolt tunes, “Believe, For It Is True.” He rips through his solo; his sound could shred burlap. Then Henderson goes sky-walking through “Free for All,” the Art Blakey anthem. He’s the hippest of trumpeters, and this is one very hip band.”
-San Jose Mercury News

“The Cookers deliver straight-ahead jazz with brains and brawn and Believe is beautifully rendered. The magnificent seven ride again!”
-ICON

Believe, the latest effort from The Cookers, is their most enjoyable to date. A working unit since 2007, the Cookers have a depth to their interplay that cannot be faked — the difference between 10-year old and 18-year old whiskey. At 69, Harper is somehow playing better than ever: His tone is clear and bottomless, his ideas brandished with black-belt assurance and formidability.”
-eMusic

“This is the nitty-gritty stuff — technically adept, soulfully alive; calling up the spirits of jazz past and incarnating them in the Now through the medium of these exciting musicians. This smokes! Yes, this is music for the hard core and music that bites into the core of the sweet apple of jazz. Solid!”
-Rick Erben, 91.5 KIOS FM

“This isn’t a band reliving its heyday; it’s living it.”
-Chris Smith, Winnipeg Free Press

“On Warriors, this mighty seven wields instruments like sonic weapons as they stir up a fiery jazz that harmonizes, improvises, takes chances and creates turbulent energy. These older cats still know how to wail and purr, creating cutting-edge, melodic, compelling jazz.”
-Eric Feber, The Virginian Pilot

“This is a must for the many lovers of pure hard bop. What are the prime ingredients? Intensity, passion and great beauty.”
-Ken Franckling, Jazz Notes

“Harper breaks out on one of his extraordinary solo flights, his sound is huge and bold, swooping like a powerful eagle over the musical landscape. It’s great to see these experienced musicians getting a chance to play with each other and create vital and interesting music.”
-Tim Niland, Music and More

“The Cookers, a dream group made up of jazz royalty, each a leader in their own right, has continued to prove that egos can be set aside when the joy of making
strikingly original music is accomplished.”
-Audiophile Audition

“There’s a sense of twilight on most tracks, which stylistically are firmly based in the intense and adventurous modal post-bop of the mid-’60s, a style which has aged so well that I’d even say it hasn’t aged at all.”
-Culture Catch

“These guys aren’t merely masters of their instruments; they’re also composers and arrangers. Everything is beautifully arranged and swings wonderfully. … This is pure jazz, as played by master artists. I loved it.”
-Ric Bang, Jazz Scan

“Talk about a blast out of the starting gate: Billy Harper’s tenor saxophone just about jolts you out of your seat from note one of his Cast the First Stone. “Peacemaker” owns a beautifully off-centered melody, one that enchants but is uncommon in its workings. It is a piece of art. They own a full sound throughout — and this is in no small part because of the level of expertise we are dealing with here. They swing hard, and they improvise to the hilt, yet “Cast the First Stone” really sounds quite beautiful. In the last 35 years, I’ve had my jazz ears bent quite a bit. What I love about this music is that a top-to-bottom, top-shelf ensemble such as The Cookers allows that to happen yet again.”
-Jon Poses, The Columbia Daily Tribune

“Pretty accurate to call this a jazz supergroup. All the members of this ensemble have been a vital part of the jazz landscape for decades,
and based on their collaborative album Believe, that ain’t gonna change anytime in the near future. Their third album as the Cookers ensemble, and it has all the pure jazz buoyancy, swing, and musicianship that symbolize so much of what is great about Jazz.”
-Bird is the Worm

A cohesive and focused effort that lives up to its all-star billing, Cast the First Stone transcends the clichés that hinder many similar sessions. These legends play a vivacious strain of muscular acoustic jazz that establishes a historical through-line to the innovations of past masters, keeping the faith with passion and grace.
-Troy Collins, All About Jazz

The entire album delights, really. It’s old-school jazz without in any way being old. And reminds us that jazz, at it’s best, is both energetic and substantial.
-Matt Marshall, Jazz Inside