DRUMMER TOM COHEN LEADS INCENDIARY ORGAN TRIO DATE ON MY TAKE With Joey DeFrancesco, also featuring heavyweight tenor saxophonists Tim Warfield and Ralph Bowen.
Plus two of Philadelphia’s foremost jazz musicians Dave Posmontier (organ) and Steve Giordano (guitar)
Available August 20th on Cohen’s Versa Music label
Described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “a drummer of creative agitation,” Tom Cohen is proud to announce the release of My Take, a sterling example of modern organ-trio jazz. Joining Cohen is Joey DeFrancesco in top form on Hammond B3, as well as acclaimed veteran tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield and cutting-edge tenor powerhouse Ralph Bowen.
Cohen brings an abundance of surging swing vitality to the music, as displayed on Gigi Gryce’s classic “Minority,”a high-energy unrelenting burner right out of the gate. Warfield is assured and full of fire here — and equally so on the Vincent Youmans standard “Without a Song” with his soulful and melodic extemporization, the essence of the Philadelphia sound. Bowen, on Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle” and Wayne Shorter’s enigmatic, seldom-heard “Lost,” reveals his commanding, individual approach to modern jazz vernacular in all its breadth and heterogeneity.
One track, a vibrant uptempo treatment of Benny Golson’s timeless “Along Came Betty,” features Cohen’s longtime Philadelphia colleagues Dave Posmonstier (organ) and Steve Giordano (guitar). This trio skates with unbridled energy yet with a soaring lightness; together they set up a lively contrast between the bright overall tempo of the piece and the relaxed, elongated, gradually unfolding form of Golson’s beautiful melody.
“What I love about Tom’s playing is his musicality, open mind and free spirit,” DeFrancesco comments. “All of these elements, to me, are what make a great musician.” Fellow drummer Justin Faulkner, a younger scion of the Philly jazz scene now with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, adds:“Tom is a part of the lineage of drummers with one foot in the past and one foot in the present. I always hear a conversation when Tom is a part of an ensemble, which speaks to his ability to transcend the instrument and effectively communicate his point of view in the sonic language.”
On the Philadelphia scene and beyond since the mid-’70s, Cohen’s calling card is versatility, though he is at his most expressive and irrepressibly himself in a jazz context. He’s been deeply immersed in Brazilian jazz with his Brazilian Trio (featuring Klaus Mueller and Itaiguara Brandão), which has a new album in the works. He was also an integral member of the great fusion group Catalyst, led by Odean Pope. He has worked with such jazz legends as Shirley Scott, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Bootsie Barnes, Charles Fambrough, Larry McKenna, Frank Tiberi and George Garzone.
Cohen has made memorable appearances on recordings by tenor saxophonist Ben Schachter (Fractals with Tim Hagans, Jamaladeen Tacuma); the Brazilian group Minas (Blue Azul and Dreams of Brazil); and various singer-songwriters in his capacity as a studio musician. His previous outings as a leader include Tom Cohen Trio with Ron Thomas and Mike Richmond; Diggin’ In, Digging Out with Chris Potter; The Guitar Trio Project with Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jef Lee Johnson, Paul Bollenback and others; and Joyride with Benito Gonzalez and Tim Ries.
On My Take, Cohen makes plain the potent interactivity and integrity he brings to the jazz idiom with his distinctive interpretations of these time-honored jazz classics. If you’ve seen or heard him play you know what’s in store. If this is your first introduction, you’ll be awed by the energy and supple high-level creativity that Cohen consistently delivers.