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 Musfi/perc keep the music creative yet accessible with moods changing like Colorado weather.
The strings get dramatic as Bradfield's cantoral soprano sax on the Klezmeric "A Seeker's Soul" with pizzicato'd pluckings and Carillo's yearning trumpet take you on the journey of "Essence". Melancholy moods meld with Cohan on "The Hours Before Dawn" and get jagged for Wojiechowski's clarinet on the sonorous "Imaginary Lines," and the team is rich and pastoral on "Heart" while festively dancing on "Sabra". Nice brush strokes for the musical portraits.