Originations surely places Cohan in the first rank of contemporary jazz composers.
Dynamically synthesizing classical compositional elements and improvisation, with Middle Eastern and other World music influences, pianist/composer Ryan Cohan's Originations builds on his five critically acclaimed recordings from the last two decades. Born from a trip to Jordan where he discovered his paternal family homeland, the experience catalyzed Cohan to seek out his Palestinian roots for the first time. His reawakened Arab lineage together with his Jewish upbringing was transformative as he contemplated the rich beauty and profound cultural complexities from a musical perspective. Scored for his long-standing Chicago sextet plus string quartet, Originations is a natural progression for him as a musical storyteller as such motifs were a central catalyst in his lauded earlier recordings. Featuring: John Wojciechowski, Geof Bradfield, Tito Carrillo, James Cammack, and Michael Raynor, along with percussionist Omar Musfi and the KAIA String Quartet.
"Very intelligent writing. Void of predictability from beginning to end..." - Jae Sinnett, WHRV
1. The Hours Before Dawn 8:42
2. Imaginary Lines 7:38
3. Heart 7:49
4. Sabra 6:26
5. A Seeker's Soul 6:10
6. Essence 12:27
Composed and Arranged by Ryan Cohan
Ryan Cohan - piano
John Wojciechowski - Bb clarinet, flute, alto flute, tenor saxophone
Geof Bradfield - bass clarinet, soprano saxophone
Tito Carrillo - trumpet, flugelhorn
James Cammack - acoustic bass
Michael Raynor - drums
Omar Musfi - riqq, frame drum, dumbek
KAIA String Quartet:
Victoria Moreira - violin
Naomi Culp - violin
Amanda Grimm - viola
Hope DeCelle - cello
Produced by Ryan Cohan
Additional Production: Steve Rodby
Recorded by Vijay Tellis-Nayak at
Transient Sound, Chicago, IL
October & November, 2018
Assistant Engineer: Tyler Rice
Mixed & Mastered by Rich Breen at
Dogmatic Sound, Burbank, CA
Piano Technician: Jim Hudson
Cover Photo by Pisit Heng
Ryan Photo by Ryan Bennett
Studio Photos: Harvey Tillis & Ryan Cohan
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Step Tempest (Richard B Kamins)
Pianist, composer, and arranger Ryan Cohan has returned to the recording scene seven years since his last recording "The River." Not that the Chicago, IL-born-and-raised (and still lives) Cohan has been idle––he's appeared on a slew of recordings plus has been commissioned to write scores for several films, orchestras, and artists. Cohan, befo ...
Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)
The best jazz recordings of 2020 to date: Savvy listeners already know that Chicago pianist-composer Cohan has a well-honed gift for writing long-form jazz compositions. It reaches a high point in "Originations," a suite Cohan performed to vivid effect at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in 2018. The new recording deepens earlier favorable impressions ...
Chicago Jazz Magazine (Hrayr Attarian)
Pianist and composer Ryan Cohan is a master of creating harmony from contrasts. Over the years his works have incorporated many diverse influences and have become progressively more impressionistic. His acclaimed 2013 release The River even inspired painter Ellen Priest to create an abstract canvas that was displayed at St Peter's Church in Manhatt ...
All About Jazz (Paul Rauch)
4 1/2 STARS There is a risk in creating art that reflects in essence, one's own personal journey. What that journey reveals within the context of one life may not carry the same value to a collective audience. In the case of Chicago based composer/pianist Ryan Cohan, his explorative delve into his own bi-cultural roots as presented on his new rele ...
Downbeat (Ed Enright)
EDITOR'S PICK Six integrally linked compositions constitute Originations, on which Chicago-based pianist and composer Ryan Cohan explores the assimilation of his reawakened Arab lineage and his Jewish upbringing. Created with the support of a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works commission, Originations brings a broad spectrum of disparate mus ...
Boston Concert Reviews (Nelson Brill)
Turning to a global canvas of shape-shifting beauty, we find the creation of dynamic pianist, composer and arranger, Ryan Cohan, who leads a stellar big band joined by the Kaia String Quartet in performance of his original compositions on the CD, Originations [Origin Records]. This is music of open-eared exploration with a wide-open musical terrain ...
Musica Terre (Japan) (Editor)
Ryan Cohan , a pianist/composer from Chicago in the United States who continues to create unique jazz that incorporates rhythms and scales from all over the world , is the first new album in 7 years "Originations" . It is a fascinating piece of music that is elaborately performed by a 11-person formation consisting of a piano, bass, drums, Middle E ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Pianist and composer Ryan Cohan brings in the Kaia String Quartet of Victoria Moreira/v, Naomi Culp/v, Amanda Grimm/va and Hope DeCelle/cel to rich effect as it blends in with his jazz combo to rich satisfaction. The team of John Wojciechowski/cl-fl-afl-ts, Geof Bradfield/bcl-ss, Tito Carillo/tp-fh, James Cammack/b, Michael Raynor/dr and Omar Mu ...
Jazz'halo (Belgium) (Georges Tonla Briquet)
The first notes you catch in the morning often determine your mood throughout the day. One tip: wake up to the tones of American pianist and composer with Palestinian roots Ryan Cohan in his 'The Hours Before Dawn'. A slow unveiling of a whole world that ranges from jazz and classical to influences from the Middle East (Jewish and Arabic) and South ...