Come see Robert John Cook in

Peace, Love and Understanding:
Songs From a Wicked World

Special guests include Jason Corazza, Eric Nicolas, David Patterson, and Melissa Rodnon.

Click here to find out more, or click the Gigs link at left.
Review in Cabaret Scenes by Peter Leavy:
September 26, 2008
Go to the review

The Robert John Cook Blues Ensemble is properly named. Cook himself is the lead vocalist, but in true jazz ensemble fashion, he uses his energetic singing as a complement to his six grooving instrumentalists rather than to monopolize the spotlight himself. If there's any doubt about his intent, he's listed in the performers' credits in fourth place, alphabetically, like everyone else.

In true jazz ensemble fashion, he uses his energetic singing as a complement to his six grooving instrumentalists.

The group's performance at Don't Tell Mama is exciting visually as well as melodically. The musicians, Cook, and his two backup singers, accentuate the beat with their bodies as well as their instruments. The group's arrangements of the song list that included numbers by Jimi Hendix, Bruce Springsteen and a couple by Cook himself, was infectious. So much so that one audience member couldn't resist jumping up several times to bounce along with the pulsating rhythm that even infused band member Bob Dee's harmonica playing.

Admittedly, one has to enjoy jazz and blues to appreciate the Ensemble. Unlike most performances heard in cabaret, their music is rhythm-driven rather than lyric-driven, and Cook's vocals are notable for their intensity more than for his interpretation. That said, for an immersion into the genre, Cook's collection of jazz artists will capture your attention and hold it.