It's always difficult for an artist who has become so intimately associated with a group--especially if he or she has been a significant compositional contributor--to build a separate identity outside of that group. It might be one of the reasons that Pat Metheny Group keyboardist Lyle Mays--who not only contributed compositions of his own, but also co-wrote some of the group's most well-known and well-loved material--has released so few recordings under his own name. Pianist/keyboardist Jon Cowherd is nowhere near as joined at the hip to Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, heard most recently on the characteristically ...read more
There's more to pianist Jon Cowherd than meets the eye. Best known for his fifteen-year tenure in the Brian Blade Fellowship--with whom he has recorded four outstanding albums--Cowherd has also played and recorded with singers such as Rosanne Cash, Cassandra Wilson, Iggy Pop and Joni Mitchell. Though he's led his own small groups in New York for years he's only now stepping out with his recorded debut as leader. The music on Mercy (Self Produced, 2013) was recorded three years ago, but it's fair to say that the period of gestation was even longer. In fact, in 2001 ...read more
Pianist/keyboard player Jon Cowherd is best known for his association with drummer Brian Blade's Fellowship--a group he co-founded in 1998--but as a producer and arranger too, there are clearly other strings to his bow. Cowherd's keyboard collaborations with jazz, country and rock artists including singers Cassandra Wilson, Rosanne Cash and Iggy Pop, point to his versatility, so it's maybe something of a surprise that his debut as leader, firmly rooted in the jazz idiom, is so stylistically homogenous. Heavyweights Blade, bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Bill Frisell gel beautifully to illuminate the subtle strands of the leader's compelling originals.read more
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