Walter Booker / Walter Booker Quintet

Bookie's Cookbook

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Texas born bassist Walter Booker has played with some of the greatest names in jazz for over four decades. It's intriguing that with such an extraordinary resume, Bookie's Cookbook is the first date released under his leadership. This is a solid effort of straight-ahead jazz, finding Booker uniting musicians that have jammed together in one aggregation or another, connecting paths that have crossed throughout the years. The majority of the album is confined to a simmer, swinging nevertheless, as Booker and drummer Leroy Williams hold down solid rhythm section duties, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne and trumpeter Marcus Belgrave volley licks back and forth, with guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and guest pianist Larry Willis contributing potent shadings throughout. Of the six tracks on this disc, three are originals by band members Payne, Booker, and Willis, while three acknowledge lost heroes: Charlie Parker ("Chasin The Bird"), Elmo Hope ("Something For Kenny"), and Duke Pearson ("Is That So?").

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