Leo Cookman with James Smith & Friends
Leo Cookman, one of our Blues Jam regulars, has released his own album 'He Hath Made Me Glad' and to mark the occasion has lined up some special gigs. He'll be performing at the club with his own small band and supported by friend and producer James Smith.
Leo has been gigging for the better part of 12 years in and around the country (did a couple in New York too) in various guises, either with function bands or originals bands playing everything from rock to Jazz to avant garde pop to dance but mainly Blues and early Jazz. As a member of the house band of 'Brookes Blues Bar' in London he performed with musicians including George Melly, Humphrey Littleton and Kenny Ball. With this in mind he describes this album as a 'doffing-of-the-cap' to his favourite genre and style.
Friend and colleague James Smith is my support/co-producer and rhythm guitarist. He's been playing a long time and writes his own, slightly smoother, material is also fond of a more classic approach to performance and songwriting.
The band features Paul Flieshman on drums, a Manchester stalwart who is one of the 6 degrees of separation in any Mancunian musical connection. He's played with everyone and plays everything, but here concentrates on the beats. Brother Miles Cookman joins in on guitar and has a similarly impressive performing C.V. Like Leo, his first love is early Jazz and Blues and his ability to emulate the style on Guitar is the perfect companion to Leo's music. The layout of the band is traditional, using a small kit for beat and swing, lead/rhythm guitar and piano to get a 'vintage' sound for the era.