Michael Cooke


Black Hat Records

Michael Cooke, tenor, alto, soprano sax., flute, bass clarinet; Mel Nelson, piano; Alec Little, acoustic bass; Sameer Gupta, drums; Paul Fisher, congas and percussion; Roland Robles, tabla and percussion; Cliff Winnig, tampura; Greg Rosenberg, percussion

And search they do. This is an achieved coupling of rhythm and exploration in which the percussionists are given a great deal of work in laying the ground for the flights taken by multi-instrumentalist Michael Cooke. This is Jazz for the serious listener. Jazz for the reflective soul, and that goes for the up-tempo pieces, too. What is constantly a revelation is the sheer number of really great, and generally little known musicians who are capable of such a high- quality performance. We sometimes hear the established names of Jazz producing music less accomplished than what we have here. A real pity, we feel. Sameer Guptats' "The Source" has an inner beauty, a special quality, that permeates the air around you. This CD is for people who listen to a lot of Jazz, for people who listen daily and often hours at a time. Recommended for people who are already working their CD players with their first cup of coffee.

Lawrence Brazier

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