The Best Hard Bop Supergroup Working Today

The golden age of Blue Note Records produced some of the most enduring jazz styles of the 20th century. Chief among them was a sound known as hard bop—an approach that took the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and gave them a slower but more biting edge. One of the best groups performing this style today comes to Oakland this week: The Cookers, named after a 1965 Blue Note album. This is an all-star lineup of players who’ve straddled the avant-garde, like Billy Harper and Billy Hart, and even New Orleans music, like Donald Harrison. Which is to say they take the music in inspiring new directions every time they perform. I’ve seen them twice and they are simply an incomparable force. The Cookers play on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Yoshi’s in Oakland.—Gabe Meline

February 20, 2020

510 Embarcadero West, Oakland

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