Ask Again

Michael Cochrane - piano
Clifford Adams - trombone
Joe Ford - saxophone
Marcus McLaurine - bass
Alan Nelson - drums

List of Tunes:
1. Ask Again
2. If'n
3. Faces
4. Justice
5. Miracle Child
6. X
7. Lament For D.G.
8. Elan
9. Blues Muse
10. Contentment

Ask Again:



Comfort Zone

Michael Cochrane - piano
David Alan Gross - saxophone
Marcus McLaurine - bass
Alan Nelson - drums

List of Tunes:
1. Blues for J.G.
2. Comfort Zone
3. Destiny
4. Ivar
5. Ostinato
6. Nadeva
7. Lullaby of the Heart
8. For Days
9. Poody

Comfort Zone:




Michael Cochrane - piano
David Alan Gross - alto sax
Calvin Hill - bass
Alan Nelson - drums

List of Tunes:
1. Morning in Lima
2. Room 118
3. Street Song
4. Patient Street
5. East of Brazil
6. Step Into My World
7. Philly Joe
8. Bass Instruments
9. Opale
10. Cookie
11. Maxim

Morning in Lima:

Philly Joe:


On their debut CD, Lines of Reason, players Michael Cochrane, piano; Calvin Hill, bass; David Alan Gross, alto sax; and drummer Alan Nelson put together a fresh, compelling and swinging set. The program not only underscores their sensitive group interaction, but also highlights their formidable composing skills. All but one selection was penned by members of the group,

Tracks one through five were contributed by pianist Michael Cochrane. On the opener, Cochrane looks back to his heroes Bud Powell and Charlie Parker with the bebop flavoured original "Morning in Lima." "The tune was written when I was on the road in a little town called Lima, Ohio," Cochrane recalls. "I actually wrote the piece in the hotel room right before the gig."

In contrast to the bebop feel of "Morning in Lima," Cochrane explores a modal sensibility on track number two - "Room 118." "The title came from a room that I used to teach in at Rutgers," he remembers. "Between students I found that I had the opportunity to write tunes."

The opportunity to write "Streetsong" - track number three came to Cochrane just before moving out of his upper west side New York residence. "That particular area had a heavy Hispanic presence," he explains, "and the sounds of Latin rhythms and especially salsa were constantly being heard on the street. I lived there for seventeen years and Streetsong is my reflection of the neighbourhood sounds."

On track number four, the pianist - composer heads into ballad territory with the hauntingly beautiful melody "Patient Spirit." "The title," clarifies Cochrane, "was derived from my eastern philosophy studies emphasising that one should develop the quality of patience."

"East of Brazil," track number five was the result of Cochrane's studies of the great samba and bossa nova traditions of Brazil. "I've done quite a bit of research on these subjects and this tune is an outgrowth of that study." For tracks six through eight saxist David Alan Gross takes on the composing chores. "I was just trying to establish a mood and certain atmosphere," states Gross, describing "Step Into My World," track number six.

The mood is definitely percussive on "Philly Joe" - track number seven. "I put this tune together as a feature for Alan Nelson," slates Gross. "The opening figure is actually a Philly Joe Jones drum lick. I loved what Alan did with it."

The spotlight shines on Calvin Hill's virtuoso bass performance on "Bass Instincts" - track number eight. "I wrote a very simple line with a modal type drone for marcus," explains Gross. "It was up to him to fill in the spaces and he did it as only he can."

The song "Opale" - track number nine is the composition of Italian pianist, composer Francesco D'Errico. The smooth melody and interesting harmonic twists were part of the band's performance repertoire since its inception. It worked in well alongside the band's original material.

Drummer Alan Nelson's piece, "Cookie" - track number ten, kicks right in with a memorable line and a relaxed up tempo groove. "My wife's name is Naome," says Nelson, "but everyone in our family calls her 'Cookie'. I wrote the song for her."

The CD finishes out with bassist Calvin Hill's tribute to his former boss of seven years - drumming legend Max Roach. The tune appropriately is entitled "Maxim," which was originally conceived as a 4/4 straight ahead vehicle. "We tried it a few different ways at the rehearsals," remembers Hill. "We found it worked great with a funk groove. I think Max would get a kick out of that."   Omar Farquar

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