We Four is a new band of esteemed New York jazz players, all of whom feel a special connection to John Coltrane. The band is composed of tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, Mulgrew Miller, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Jimmy Cobb. In point of fact, only Jimmy has zero degrees of separation from Trane, as he famously played with him in the Miles Davis band of the late ‘50s (think: Kind of Blue). Jimmy's inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and company spanned 1958 until 1962, and included the masterpiece Kind of Blue, the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince will Come, Live at Carnegie Hall, Live at the Blackhawk, Porgy and Bess, and many, many other watermark Miles Davis recordings, as well as other dates with leaders Coltrane, Adderley, and Kenny Burrell. Jimmy is still going strong at 82 with Miles and Coltrane tribute bands and his own group dates.
Javon Jackson rose to prominence as an Art Blakey Jazz Messenger and has played with others connected to Coltrane, including drummer Elvin Jones, and bassists Ron Carter and Richard Davis. Javon is a fluent improviser who carries the standard proudly. Mulgrew Miller, like John Coltrane, is a deeply spiritual man and a superb pianist who was mentored by Jazz Messenger James Williams. He played in Tony Williams’ band for six years, so you know that he can bring it. Mulgrew has golden fingers and can swing you to death. Peter Washington, part of the Javon and Mulgrew generation, is a brilliant scholar and bassist. He also was a Jazz Messenger and has played with everyone. He has recorded copiously, rivaling Christian McBride.
The repertoire will be a jazz lovers delight from that hard-swinging era after bebop when so many standards and bluesy compositions were arranged and played so craftily and like no one ever thought possible. No band can do it better than this one.
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by a grant from the Broward County Board of County