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Motema Music Geared up to Release "One Sky" from Chicago-Based Pianist/Composer Ryan Cohan

SOURCE: Published:
AVAILABLE IN STORES AND ONLINE ON OCTOBER 16

On October 16, 2007, Motema, one of the industry's new leading independent labels, will proudly release One Sky, pianist/composer/arranger Ryan Cohan's follow up recording to the highly praised sophomore release, Here and Now (Sirocco Jazz, UK). One Sky, recorded immediately after sold-out shows at Chicago's historic venue, The Green Mill, features Ryan Cohan in the esteemed company of Bob Sheppard on saxophones and flute, James Cammack on double bass, Tito Carrillo on trumpet, and Cohan's exciting working quartet featuring saxophonist Geof Bradfield, bassist Lorin Cohen, and drummer Kobie Watkins.

The members of Cohan's ensemble featured on One Sky are deep-seated players in the global jazz community, having collectively performed and recorded with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Billy Childs, Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, the Ahmad Jamal Trio, Nancy Wilson, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra (directed by David Baker), Toshiko Akiyoshi, Louis Hayes, Jon Faddis, Vincent Herring, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera, Quincy Jones, Phil Collins, Sonny Rollins, Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber, Monty Alexander, Regina Carter and many others.

One Sky is the documentation of an ensemble that has successfully realized its leader's vision, delivering an album of mostly Cohan compositions that spills over with intensity, emotion, dynamic, in-the-moment playing and seemingly inexhaustible explorations into the world of post-bop jazz. Above all, however, this recording is a good look into Cohan's mind and heart, through his compositions, ensemble work and improvisations. The centerpiece of One Sky is Cohan's freshly penned suite, “One Sky: Tone Poems For Humanity," which premiered in July 2006 at Skidmore College's Bernhard Theatre, grew out of a commission from Chamber Music America New York, as part of their prestigious and highly-competitive “New Works: Creation and Presentation" Grant. This ambitious extended composition is complemented by four new Cohan originals and a brilliant, masterful solo piano rendering of Billy Strayhorn's “Lush Life."

More on Ryan Cohan

Chicago based Ryan Cohan is very much in demand as a pianist, composer, arranger and producer, and has performed with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Milt Hinton, Jon Faddis, Curtis Fuller, Regina Carter, Andy Bey, Kurt Elling, Kent Jordan, Michael Urbaniak, Pat La Barbera, Ed Shaughnessey among many others. Cohan is a member of renowned trumpeter Orbert Davis' various ensembles (since 1995), including the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. He has toured the world with Davis and is also featured on his video release, With Strings Attached, and his two most recent CD releases, Priority and Blue Notes. Cohan balances this busy schedule by leading his own trio, quartet and sextet in performances of his ever-growing book of original compositions and arrangements at prominent clubs and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a solo pianist, Cohan has played at Chicago's Symphony Center in a concert showcasing “the city's best performers." His diverse experience also includes a substantial list of commercial studio performing credits for such clients as Sears, Nissan, Toyota, Budweiser and Oprah Winfrey. As an educator, Cohan has been on the faculty of the Skidmore Jazz Institute/New York Summer School of The Arts Program (1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004) and an accompanist and instructor at the Bloom School of Jazz in Chicago (1997-2000, 2005). He also works independently as a clinician with students nationwide. 2003 marked Cohan's film scoring debut, composing and producing the soundtrack to the independent short film, Dog Walker. In early 2007 he also completed the score to his first full-length film project, Tapioca, starring Ben Vereen.

Ryan Cohan's Quartet was recently chosen by a panel led by Wynton Marsalis for the 2007-08 Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program (http://www.jalc.org/TheRoad/ index.html). This distinguished award, sponsored by Jazz At Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department, sends carefully selected groups on an extended international tour as “Jazz Ambassadors" to perform concerts and conduct clinics in countries less familiar with the indigenous American art form. Additionally, performances will be given at Lincoln Center in New York, as well as in Washington, D.C.

Ryan Cohan's relationship with NEA Jazz Master, and fellow pianist, Ramsey Lewis began in late 1997 when Cohan contributed four compositions, including the title track, for Lewis' GRP release Dance Of The Soul. Their collaborations continued with Cohan touring with Lewis and with his work as the primary arranger on Lewis' Appassionata (Narada Jazz), named “Jazz Album of the Year" in Billboard Magazine's first annual music awards in 2000. Cohan's writing skills were also tapped for Lewis' following releases, Meant To Be (Narada Jazz), featuring Nancy Wilson, and The Very Best of Ramsey Lewis (GRP). Most recently, Cohan composed the theme song to The Legends of Jazz TV program hosted by Ramsey, and was commissioned to write the arrangements for Lewis' upcoming solo piano recording.

Ryan Cohan's work has garnered numerous awards including The Illinois Arts Council's Artist's Fellowship Grant (2007, 2000) and the City of Chicago's CAAP grant (2006).

Look for Ryan Cohan's One Sky on Motema - available on October 16, 2007!!

“Cohan is a gifted, strong pianist from the Bud Powell-Herbie Hancock-Chick Corea tree [and] already a master at three-horn writing." - DownBeat

“You'll be struck by the exquisite detail of [Ryan's] writing." - Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune

“Make a note of the name RYAN COHAN - he is destined for great things. Not only does he write exceptional tunes, but he arranges and plays them with a level of maturity normally only found in artists many years his senior." - Sirocco Music (UK)


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