4

Ryan Cohan: The River

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Ryan Cohan: The River Looking back, there must be hundreds or perhaps thousands of album titles that designate some reference to a river, regardless of their genre. But talented pianist Ryan Cohan does impart a distinctive stylization within the grand scope of this thoroughly modern jazz oeuvre, inspired by a recent U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of East Africa, and intersected with his Chicago roots. His septet seamlessly binds soul blues, African pop, and the jazz idiom, via concise, razor-sharp arrangements, often executed with the aplomb of a little big band. Cohan's methodology offers intermittent detours, playful digressions, and frolicsome free-form burnouts.

Cohan is a strong composer, and the ensemble burns through high- impact bop tinted with Afro-Cuban pulses, yet dishes out a snaky jazz- blues romp layered with regal choruses, blending convention with newness on "Brother Fifi." The pianist clearly runs point amid his profound rhythmic direction and captivating solo spots, where the respective musicians rise to the occasion throughout.

"Last Night at the Mannenberg" features a tempestuous soprano saxophone solo by Geof Bradfield, supported by Cohan's Professor Longhair-shaded voicings, equating to a buoyant Latin-blues vamp. Here, the leader adds oomph with punctual block chords and soul-drenched single note lines, abetted by a rollicking and rolling finale. The album closes with "River, Pt. 6—Coming Home," highlighted by an enticing yet unorthodox alignment of gospel and indigenous percussion treatments, perhaps signaling a bridge between Americana and its African influences. Like a musical tour guide, Cohan's multi-tiered outlooks and scenic soundscapes yield quite a few bonuses during these inspired works that frequently transcend the norm.


Track Listing: River, Pt. 1 - Departure; Call & Response; Arrival; River, Pt. 2 - Dark Horizon; Storm Rising; River, Pt. 3 – Aftermath; Forsaken; Brother Fifi; River, Pt. 4 - Beautiful Land; Domboshava; Kampala Moon; River, Pt. 5 – Connection; Last Night at the Mannenberg; River, Pt. 6 - Coming Home.

Personnel: Ryan Cohan: piano; John Wojciechowski : flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Geof Bradfield: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Tito Carrillo: trumpet, flugelhorn; Lorin Cohen: acoustic bass; Kobie Watkins: drums; Samuel Torres: percussion.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Motema Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Instant Oats" CD/LP/Track Review Instant Oats
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Expansions  Live" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions Live
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!