Album: The Night of the Cookers: Live at Club La Marchal, Vols. 1-2 [Remaster]
Personnel: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Freddie Hubbard; Lee Morgan, Lee Morgan Quintet (trumpet); Larry Ridley (bass instrument); Big Black (congas); James Spaulding (flute, alto saxophone); Harold Mabern (piano); Pete La Roca (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Alfred Davis; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Club La Marchal, Brooklyn, NY (04/09/1965/04/10/1965).
Photographer: Francis Wolff.
Originally released as two separate LPs (and reissued in 2004 as a double CD package) THE NIGHT OF THE COOKERS, VOLUMES 1 & 2 puts trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, two of the biggest guns of the hard-bop era, head to head throughout an extended live set. James Spaulding plays alto sax and flute, balancing out the brighter, brassier timbres of Hubbard and Morgan, and a crack rhythm section of pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Larry Ridley, drummer Pete La Roca, and conga player Big Black keeps things simmering.
Each disc contains only two compositions, Clare Fischer's "Pensativa" and Richard Carpenter's "Walkin'" make up Disc One, and two Hubbard compositions, "Jodo" and "Breaking Point" occupy the second. Since each cut clocks in at approximately 20 minutes, there is ample solo time for each musician; the approach here is all about stretching out over solid grooves. Spaulding and Mabern turn in agile improvisations, but the spotlight is on the two trumpeters. Morgan's playing pales a bit besides Hubbard's on this date--understandably, as Hubbard is tirelessly playful and acrobatic. There are chops galore on this classic hard-bop document, and fans of the era (and of these musicians in particular) will find much to admire.
Jazziz (1/95, p.89) - "...Hubbard and Morgan prove they are at the height of their collective blowing strengths by playing off each other. Nothing brings the best out of a musician more than another's relentlessness.... both trumpeters wail to their heart's content..."
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