Junior Cook

You Leave Me Breathless

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Tenor saxophonist Junior Cook's final recording, cut less than two months before his death, finds the veteran hard bop stylist in surprisingly prime form, taking upbeat solos and swinging hard. On this CD, one can really hear the mutual influence that Cook had on Joe Henderson. Trumpeter Valery Ponomarev is also in particularly fine form, and the rhythm section (pianist Mickey Tucker, bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth) is somewhat obscure but excellent. Three group originals, Cedar Walton's "Fiesta Espanol" and four standards (including a warm tenor feature on "Warm Valley" and a hard-swinging "Mr. P.C.") comprise what was one of Junior Cook's finest sessions as a leader; he definitely exited on top.

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