David Cook - NEW ALBUM OUT
Pianist/composer David Cook is an NYC-based musician heavily invested in the New York jazz scene and beyond.
Born in to a musical family based in Columbus, Ohio, David attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied with Ellen Rowe, Barton Polot, Gerald Cleaver and the late Donald Walden. Upon moving to New York, he continued his studies with Bruce Barth, Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.
David has music directed and/or played for many notable singers, including 7-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, Lizz Wright, Natasha Bedingfield, Marianne Faithfull, Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson, Shayna Steele, Darius DeHaas, Billy Porter and Utada Hikaru.
As musical director for Swift, he has also played with guest artists including James Taylor, Carly Simon, Usher, T.I., Jennifer Lopez, Tegan & Sara, Sara Bareilles, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Dunn, Nelly, Emeli Sande, Ed Sheeran and many more.
He has also played in small groups led by bassists Chris Tarry, Francois Moutin and Michael Blanco, guitarists Greg Howe, Scott Sharrard and Al Street, saxophonists Grace Kelly, Bob Reynolds and Adam Kolker as well as drummer Sunny Jain (Red Baraat). He has played in big bands led by trombonists Alan Ferber and JC Sanford, writer/arranger Asuka Kakatani and Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra. (Ferber's "March Sublime" was nominated for a Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Grammy in 2014.) He is currently a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, an association of independent artists with a shared commitment to creativity and community. The BJU aims to build greater awareness of original music emerging from Brooklyn.
Following up on a critically acclaimed debut in 2010, Pathway, David has released his second recording as a leader in May 2015, Scenic Design. Produced by Ben Wendel of Kneebody, the record features David Smith on trumpet, Wendel on saxophone, Matt Clohesy on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.
In 2008, David was selected to represent the United States in the American Music Abroad program with the band Exegesis, sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department. The ensemble traveled to Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait over the course of 5 weeks, giving performance and clinics to audiences across the region.
Other musicians that David has recorded or performed with include Dennis Chambers, Jay Collins, Quincy Davis, Shane Endsley, John Ellis, Nir Felder, Tomas Fujiwara, Mark Guiliana, Janek Gwizdala, Eric Harland, Paul Keller, Gregoire Maret, Christian McBride, Pete McCann, Donny McCaslin, Marcus Miller, John O'Gallagher, Ulysses Owens, Rich Perry, Robert Randolph, Lew Soloff, Sachal Vasandani and Victor Wooten, among others.
David Cook: Scenic Design
Pianist/composer David Cook possesses the ability to compose music that allows his massive talent to shine through unimpeded, creating a bond with the listener with every note. On May 26, Cook follows up his debut recording, Pathway (produced by Bruce Barth and released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records) with the release of Scenic Design, a compelling set of original music, and a brilliant duo version of Taylor Swift's "Safe and Sound" (with trumpeter Dave Smith), produced by Ben Wendel, and featuring his quintet of Dave Smith - trumpet, Ben Wendel - sax, Matt Clohesy - bass, Kendrick Scott - drums, and special guest Shayna Steele on vocals (on "I Know You Know").
"I’m really fortunate to have been able to record Scenic Design with Ben, Dave, Matt and Kendrick. These are 4 of my favorite musicians, all total pros that have strong and clear voices on their respective instruments . . . really all I had to do was write the music and get out of the way. The goal was for a true collective sound, and I hope this album has achieved it," said Cook.
About the music on Scenic Design: The idea of doing a quintet recording was both daunting and exciting for Cook. He explains, "I knew that I wanted to spread the melodies out past the piano on this record, but in which direction? Is it possible to say something unique and true to the history of this music at the same time? As a starting point, I picked three of my favorite quintets - Woody Shaw with Dexter Gordon, Fred Hersch and Kneebody - and tried to write music that might exist in the middle of a triangular plain with those three points." Producer/saxophonist Ben Wendel (Kneebody) was instrumental in making this happen, as he "had so many great arrangement and orchestrational ideas; the tunes really came together once he put his ears on them," said Cook.
David Cook: Pathway
David Cook (piano, compositions)
Matt Clohesy (bass)
Mark Ferber (drums)
Produced by Bruce Barth
“Pathway” represents pianist/composer David Cook’s move into the bandleader’s role after years of sideman work in New York City and beyond. Produced by jazz piano great Bruce Barth, featuring Matt Clohesy on bass and Mark Ferber on drums, Pathway is a collection of original works written for modern piano trio.
The album’s producer, jazz piano great Bruce Barth, describes the recording in his liner notes: "Pathway is the work of a dedicated artist who has found his authentic and clear voice as a pianist and composer. The music on this recording is fresh, original, daring. Dave has found sympathetic and inspiring band mates in Matt and Mark, and the trio ranges far and deep in exploring Dave's music. They play with power and groove hard, while keeping an ear out for shades of color and nuance….this recording is the culmination of Dave's ambitious work in crafting these outstanding compositions. It is also a celebration of this trio listening, interacting, and making compelling music together.”
“After spending years in New York learning and performing other musicians’ works, I began to re-dedicate time specifically for writing,” Cook says. “I found myself slowly absorbing all the different beautiful musical influences surrounding me and channeling them into tunes of my own. It’ll take me years to fully process everything I’ve heard and learned lately, but I decided a good place to start was through the palette of the classic piano trio setting. Mark Ferber and Matt Clohesy have been frequent rhythm section band mates of mine in different settings; they have such a good hookup that all I needed to do was write some tunes and get in the studio together.