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Harpsichordist Martha Cook here records Bach's Kunst der Fuge, BWV 1080 (The Art of the Fugue), with a specific interpretive framework in mind. The work, Cook believes, was devotional and intimate in intent; it is, she writes, a "musical prayer," and it embodies the parables and exhortation found in the biblical Book of Luke, 14:27-35. Interested readers are invited to consult the booklet for more details. Making the supposition work involves discarding the version of the work published after Bach's death by C.P.E. Bach and others, and it also involves some of the numerology that so often seems to crop up in connection with Bach's larger works. There's some justification in earlier German music for regarding Bach's instrumental music in this programmatic way; Bach would have known the Biblische Historien keyboard sonatas of 1700 by one of his key predecessors, Johann Kuhnau. But what's missing is any evidence of why Bach, by the end of his life a revered figure, might have wanted to embed secret messages in Die Kunst der Fuge. The unalloyed good news is that you can disregard the stated method of interpretation and listen to the performance in the abstract. It's very powerful.
Kent native, Will Joseph Cook, has grown rapidly this last couple years, holding two successful EP’s under his belt. Cook initially captured attention last year with “Hearse” and of course, “Daisy Chains,” and resurfaced a lost art in natural-born storytelling. Effortless fluidity of the lyrics always made a listener feel close, normal, and genuinely happy. Cook’s sound has expanded with his recent singles from his upcoming debut LP, "Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)", "Sweet Dreamer", “Girls Like Me” and “Take Me Dancing.” Carefree melodies wisp a listener away, and pull one in closer with its addictive indie-pop sound.
Except for one other recording, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook's two Muse albums were his only opportunities to lead his own record dates during the 1962-1987 period. 1979's Good Cookin' (played by a septet including trombonist Slide Hampton, trumpeter Bill Hardman, baritonist Mario Rivera, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Leroy Williams) and 1981's Somethin's Cookin' (a high-quality quartet showcase for Cook with pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Billy Higgins) are reissued in full on this single CD, except for four alternate takes from the latter date that were included on Muse's original CD reissue.