Priestess – 2008

The Cookers


Billy Harper’s composition played by the all-star group

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The Cookers, which was formed around 2007, is a remarkable super group that was originally comprised of tenor-saxophonist Billy Harper, altoist Craig Handy (who has since been succeeded by Donald Harrison), trumpeters Eddie Henderson and founder David Weiss, pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Billy Hart.

What is particularly remarkable is that five of the seven musicians (all but Handy/Harrison and Weiss) were major players by 1970, and they were still in their musical prime 50 years later, creating their intense brand of modal post bop jazz.

This rendition of Harper’s “Priestess” is from 2008 and predates the band’s recordings; a bit unusual is that Kirk Lightsey is subbing on piano.

The group’s music and solos are always fiery and passionate and that is certainly true of this performance which features strong statements from Harper, Weiss, Handy, and Lightsey.

-Scott Yanow


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