BJUR 021 David Cook Pathway (CD)
BJUR 021 David Cook Pathway (CD)
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.
The Thing is a blues in 3 with a New Orleans-inspired 2nd line feel, featuring a few trio-specific moments in the melody. The title comes from a particular combination of adult beverages after a gig, coined by my good friend (and excellent guitarist) Errol Cooney.
Fresh Remnants is a humble homage to the Fred Hersch trio, inspired by an especially moving performance at the Village Vanguard in 2009. As I pieced together memorable musical recollections from that evening a few weeks later, this stilted melody/form came together.
Napali is the famed northwestern coastline of the Hawaiian island Kauai, reachable only by boat, helicopter or by hiking several miles through a rugged mountainside rainforest. After several hours of hiking I gained a vista of the coast, and was struck by its grandeur and isolation.
Robin’s Song is for my dear friend Robin Wiley, who was taken from us far to early in her life. She was a brilliant writer and arranger as well as a beautiful, energetic spirit. She is sorely missed.
Idly, Ideally comes from the all too rare times when one realizes that he has nothing urgent to do at that particular moment, no commitments or appointments…and knows to take advantage of the break because it probably means getting very busy again is imminent.
Come Sunday is one of my favorite Duke Ellington tunes, and a recommendation by Bruce Barth for a solo piano vehicle.
Pathway represents my trip into writer/bandleader territory, trying to strike a balance between complexity and simplicity. Sometimes it’s good to have a tune in the “set” where the solo changes are simple enough to allow everyone to take their eyes off the page and just play.
The Meanderer is about anyone that’s taken several hours to stroll around Manhattan, headphones on, with no particular destination in mind.
Lullabye is a tune I wrote several years ago; it was originally intended to be a simple straight-8th ballad but compositionally evolved into a form that culminates with a building repetitive figure for an outro. It remains one of my favorite original tunes to play.”
Originally from 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 played for many notable singers, including Lizz Wright, Academy-Award winner Jennifer Hudson, Natasha Bedingfield, Justin Timberlake and the multi-platinum pop group Nsync, Darius DeHaas, Billy Porter, Shayna Steele and Utada Hikaru. He has played in small groups led by bassists Francois Moutin, Michael Blanco and Nicholas D’Amato, guitarists Greg Howe, Scott Sharrard and Al Street, saxophonists Arun Luthra, Bob Reynolds and Mark Small as well as drummer Sunny Jain. He has played in larger ensembles led by trombonist Alan Ferber, big bands led by Asuka Kakatani and JC Sanford, and Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra.
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 performances and clinics to audiences across the region.
Some of the other musicians that David has recorded or performed with include Obed Calvaire, Dennis Chambers, Jay Collins, Quincy Davis, Shane Endsley, John Ellis, Nir Felder, Tomas Fujiwara, Janek Gwizdala, Paul Keller, Pete McCann, Donny McCaslin, John O’Gallagher, Ulysses Owens, Rich Perry, Lew Soloff and Victor Wooten, among others