SF Jazz Collective at SF Jazz, The Cookers at Yoshi’s

Posted on in Art + Soul by Roy Strassman

The SF Jazz Collective offered a three-night stint (Oct. 20–22) at SF Jazz that featured eight of the finest young musicians on today’s scene and showcased the formidable marimba and vibes talents of Warren Wolf. The evening was billed as a tribute to Miles Davis, although a few of the band members’ original compositions were also highlighted—most notably Wolf’s sensuous “In the Heat of the Night.” SFJC’s phenomenal musicianship, an adventurous departure from the norm for these players, ventured into ambitious arrangements of Miles’s standards including “So What,” “Bitches Brew,” and “Milestones.”

The Cookers, an ensemble of veteran players, bandleaders, and composers, dazzled Yoshi’s on Oct. 22. While the phenomenal section work was sometimes challenging, the mastery came through. The voicings of the horn section—Billy Harper, tenor sax; Donald Harrison, alto sax; and Dr. Eddie Henderson and David Weiss, trumpets—were transporting and enlivening. Adding to all this, the sensitive rhythm section of Billy Hart on drums, Cecil McBee on bass, and George Cables on piano was razor-sharp responsive. Their original compositions covered a wide range of emotions, proving again that The Cookers are a fine wine indeed.


The Cookers
The Cookers

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