The Cookers Come to Cleveland

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Is it possible to be an all-star and still be under-sung?

The band that trumpeter David Weiss brings to Nightown Wednesday believes that the answer to the question is "yes."

The Cookers is a septet of musicians ranging in age from 52 (Weiss) to 81 (bass player Cecil McBee). Alto saxophonist Donald Harrison is 56, and the other members of the band are in their 70s (saxophonists Billy Harper and Donald Harrison, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist George Cables and drummer Billy Hart). Weiss feels there’s a reason these players aren’t being showcased on the covers of the jazz magazines these days.

“I tend to think the press tend to look for the next hot thing, or the newest concept or the next great innovation [and] loses sight of just the people who make great music,” Weiss said. “I’ve always thought that maybe there’s a disconnect between what they’re writing about and what audiences want. Audiences want great music and they want to be moved.”

Weiss said he originally formed the Cookers for “purely musical reasons,” but as time passed he came to realize that having the group would provide a platform to showcase these very vibrant players.

Weiss understands that the era in which his bandmates came up in is gone, but he says the Cookers are still creating the music of that period in a fresh and exciting manner.

Audiences will have a chance to hear for themselves when the Cookers perform at Nighttown Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Listen to Dan Polletta's interview with David Weiss on Tuesday at 12:33 p.m. on 90.3 WCPN for Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause.

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