152

Ryan Cohan: Another Look

Alex Marianyi By

Sign in to view read count
Unlike many of his past releases, Ryan Cohan's Another Look focuses heavily on group interaction and improvisation. Penning all but two of the tunes on the album, the pianist's arrangements allow his musicians maximum flexibility. That the CD's main quartet has been playing together since 2003, and was on the road for six straight weeks before this session, further adds to the group identity found on this recording.

The main quartet does, indeed, make this album come alive. Lorin Cohen's bass work raises itself to a level where it must be noticed his solo on "Song For My Grandfather" captures the song's sensitivity, but also pushes it forward rhythmically. On "Monk'n Around," he sets the tone of the entire recording with his solo intro, and during the track's long stretches, drummer Kobie Watkins takes a back seat to Cohen's contribution to the groove. When he is the featured member of the groove, like on the album closer "Steppin' Up." Watkins adds a real dance-like quality. Much of Geof Bradfield's playing shows off his marvelous technical skill; still, the multi-reedist takes care to expose his sensitive side on "Gentle Souls."

Cohan takes care to exhibit his own playing as well, with his solo intro to "Song For My Grandfather." In ensemble playing, he can be found as the lead instrument, delivering the melodies on "Song For My Grandfather" and "Joshua." Much like Bill Evans, Cohan further stimulates group interaction by selflessly providing creative information; he even adds to the groove in a way that resembles Thelonious Monk. Cohan also shows off his eye for personnel; in addition to his working quartet, he invites two guests: vibraphonist Joe Locke and percussionist Steve Kroon. While Locke contributes some stirring solo work, Kroon's atmospheric sounds really bring together the mood of the title track.

Since the days of John Coltrane's famous mid-'60s quartet, many jazz musicians have attempted to put together and keep a regular working small group, to allow for maximum communication and improvisation. Cohan's Another Look catches this magic of interaction.

Track Listing: Monk'n Around; Joshua; You & Me; This or That; Caravan; (Intro) Gentle Souls; Gentle Souls; Another Look; (Intro) Song for my Grandfather; Song for my Grandfather; Steppin' Up.

Personnel: Ryan Cohan: piano; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Geof Bradfield: soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet; Lorin Cohen: bass; Kobie Watkins: drums; Steve Kroon: percussion.

Title: Another Look | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Motema Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "@etude" CD/LP/Track Review @etude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "The Beast" CD/LP/Track Review The Beast
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.