One of the many highlights of last year's GIJF was the session by "The Cookers". A session that featured high on many of our 'Gig of the Year' listings and justifiably so. When I noted that two of those gig-scarred veterans, Hart and Cables, were on this album I shuffled it to the top of the pile without apology! Hart's drumming is everything we've come to expect of a man whose CV includes just about every jazzer of consequence. Cables? Good enough for Art Pepper, good enough for me! And good enough for Varela - or is that vice-versa? The bassist/leader is a 'comer' and, in years to come, will himself be "a Cooker" In the meantime, he's keeping the pot boiling with some mighty fine [he's from Texas] bass playing.
Of the others who drop by for a track or two, Clifton Anderson scores on trombone. The opener is the only standard - Cables' arrangement of "I Should Care." Varela qualifies the inclusion of the gasser: The jazz community wants to hear you play over a standard and know you have that ability. If you can't play a standard, it negates your jazz legitimacy. At last someone has said it! No doubts about the legitimacy here! If BSH awarded stars this would have as many as you could see on a clear night at midnight.