The Cookers, reunited with Dave Leibman every now and then in Quest, records and plays with numerous artists plus keeps up a busy teaching schedule. Over the decades, he has toured and recorded with Miles Davis, Eddie Harris, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, Shirley Horn, and a host of others musicians famous or on their way up.
Mr. Hart, according to numerous sources, has only recorded with a big band once (Mingus Dynastry) and did record as a member of Lee Konitz's Nonet but never his own music. Until now, that is.
www.facebook.com/wdrbigband/ - and is one of the most accomplished groups in the world (Album personnel listed below.)
The new album, "The Broader Picture" (ENJA/Yellowbird), is nearly 80 minutes long although it feels like half that length. The program features eight originals chosen from Mr. Hart's growing repertoire played an 18-piece band that includes the composer at the drums. Schweizer's arrangements often keep the drums front and center while the sections react to and "color" Mr. Hart's contributions. Surprisingly, the opening track "Teule's Redemption" (first recorded with Quest and then on "Oceans of Time" (1997 - Arabesque Records) and now on the new album by The Cookers, begins with an unaccompanied bass solo (John Goldsby) - he's soon joined by his rhythm section partner and, little by little, the sections come in. The early part of the piece sounds as if the big band is tuning up or, actually, "revving its engines" ready to let loose.
The musicians on the album: Wim Both, Rob Bruyne, Andy Haderer, Rudd Breuls, and John Marshall (trumpet and flugelhorn); Ludwig Nuss, Andy Hunter, and Raphael Klemm (trombone) with Matthis Cederberg (bass trombone, tuba); Johan Hörlen, Karolina Strassmeyer, Paul Heller, Olivier Peters, and Jens Neufang (saxophones, flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, and contra-alto clarinet); the rhythm section consists of Frank Chastenier (piano), Paul Shigihara (guitars), John Goldsby (acoustic bass), and Billy Hart (drums, compositions). Christophe Schweizer did all the arrangements and conducted the WDR Big Band. The album will be released on September 30, 2016.
Here's the trailer: