Ryan Cohan: Real World
I was out clubbing a few years ago and heard Ryan playing piano with a pick-up trio for Richie Cole. The gig was a bit of a mess, Richie seemed unhappy but Ryan held his own through it all and impressed me. This CD puts it all together for us; Ryan is a heavyweight composer and pianist that must be heard. The entire program consists of original compositions flawlessly performed by a stellar group of young Chicago musicians including Orbert Davis, Jim Gailloreto, John McLean, Jim Cammack, Tom Hipskind, Dede Sampaio and others. In this day of far too much retro jazz, it took real courage to produce an album of all originals, but the listener is well rewarded for taking the time. Each composition has a certain charm and is nearly a concert within itself. Get this one and enjoy the modern harmony, lyrical solos and tight ensembles with a solid rhythm section. Steve Yates is responsible for the great recording and mix. Overall, this is music is for those who have the capacity to think fast and comprehend creative modern jazz of the highest order.—M.V.
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