Emmet Cohen // WBGO Take Five

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Emmet Cohen // WBGO Take Five


Emmet Cohen, “Toast to Lo”

Future Stride, the forthcoming album by pianist Emmet Cohen, comes by its title honestly. It’s not just about a refurbishment of the stride piano tradition — though Cohen makes sure to demonstrate that idea. It’s also about striding forward with total assurance, knowing that each step will find traction. Cohen has the right disposition for this message, and he has surrounded himself with the right partners: bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole, as well as a front line consisting of saxophonist Melissa Aldana and trumpeter Marquis Hill.

“Toast to Lo” features brilliant playing all around, especially by Aldana. As the title makes clear, it’s a tribute to Lawrence “Lo” Leathers, who died in 2019. “We miss him very dearly,” Cohen says in a statement. “He became like the mayor anywhere he went; he knew everyone. He reminded me of a jazz musician from the past. Russell and I played our first gig ever in Paris with him, and we watched as he even became the jazz mayor of Paris. We saw him cultivate his outlook on the world, which was one of power, beauty, and equality.”

Future Stride will be released on Mack Avenue Records on Friday. 

Original Article: WBGO