Title - Then and Again, Here and Now
Artist - Todd Cochran TC3
For those unaware, the creation of music as a collective art requires participants who are open and engaged.
The essence of ensemble jazz music is the collaboration between elements, including sound and time and the musicians and audience.
Pianist/composer Todd Cochran views these interchanges of energy and emotions as positive forces for change in the world.
Cochrans musical interests have always been vast in their outlook, from the avant-garde to fusions of jazz and rock. As Bayet, his sound can be heard on albums that push the bounds of genre, from Santana and Automatic Mans arena filling rock sounds to the explosively spiritual world of his own records.
The element that has never escaped Cochrans work has been the blues esthetic tied to jazzs legacy, which he re-embraces on his brand new recording, Then and Again, Here and Now (releasing June 11th, 2021 via Sunnyside Records).
Now after a ten-year hiatus from recording while nurturing his son into adulthood, Cochran has returned to the music that has given him so much joy and that he feels is necessary to reinvest in for the betterment of society.
To assist him in his efforts, Cochran enlisted bassist John Leftwich and drummer Michael Carvin. Leftwich has been an important voice in the West Coasts vibrant music scene for decades and was introduced to Cochran twenty years ago via Freddie Hubbard.
The legendary drummer became a part of the pianists world even earlier through collaborations with Bobby Hutcherson.
Together the Todd Cochran Trio is a tremendously vibrant and cerebral ensemble that breathes life into any piece they endeavor to touch.
As musical context changes over time, it is important to revisit compositions that have withstood the times and continue to provide themselves as vehicles for expression.
Cochran is fascinated by the idea of reinterpreting standards and the American song book, to investigate the time and climate of their birth and to then reaffirm their greatness by informing them with the developments they have lived through.
Ergo, it is an all-encompassing expression of culture spanning time.
Then and Again, Here and Now presents a collection of these stalwart compositions reimagined by Cochran and his trio.
Cochrans philosophy of the development of music through the passing of ideas from generation to generation through evolving syntax can be heard in the approaches that are taken on these pieces.
Though experimenting and taking liberties with these classics, the trio remains responsible as keepers of the flame and protectors of the blues vernacular.
1. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
2. A Foggy Day in London
3. I Got Rhythm
4. Verselet For The Duke
5. The Duke
6. Dont Get Around Much Anymore
7. Heretofore (Interstitial 1)
8. Fantaisie (J.S. Bach Prelude XX WTC Book II)
9. April in Paris
10. Between Spaces (Interstitial 2)
12. You Must Believe in Spring
13. Bemsha Swing
14. Little Bs Poem
15. Then and Again, Here & Now
Opening with the temptingly seductive, alluring playful Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, the quietly expressed A Foggy Day in London and the jovial and upbeat rendering of I Got Rhythm, they are followed by the :90 second (Verselet For The Duke) lead into the simply divine The Duke, the quite vibrantly dulcet and yet always poignant Dont Get Around Much Anymore, and after the :90 second, upright bass-infused Heretofore (Interstitial 1), that leads seamlessly into the delicate musings of Fantaisie (J.S. Bach Prelude XX WTC Book II).
Continuing on and we get to enjoy the pure embodied gossamer of April in Paris which in turn is backed more upright bass on the :90 second Between Spaces (Interstitial 2), which is itself followed by the free flowing and gently euphoric Invitation, notes of tender lullabies layered within the beautiful You Must Believe in Spring, with the album rounding out on the calmly robust Bemsha Swing, the depth and grace of the creative Little Bs Poem, coming to a close on the short, but sweet title track, Then and Again, Here & Now.
Growing up, Cochran found a middle ground between the dimensions of the intellectual and spiritual when he discovered jazz music. His parents and grandparents were highly educated and motivated him to become the same.
That led to his serious investment in classical piano study; performing and entering competitions as early as when he was just eight years old.
The influence of his grandmothers evangelical faith was never far from Cochrans music, as he learned to express a particular mood by playing during church services.
His cousin introduced him to jazz at 13 and Cochran found a parallel, magnetizing pulse. He began to revisit his parents collection of Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal recordings, transcribing and analyzing them so he could apply their lessons to his own music.
It was not long before Cochran was reaching out to local jazz leaders. At just 17 years old, he found himself performing alongside the likes of jazz masters John Handy, Mike Nock, Bobby Hutcherson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Though his own music would branch out dramatically from his earliest jazz grounding, Cochran always remained in touch with the blues element of the music.
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