It seems perfectly natural that a musician having developed a distinctive sound and approach to his instrument would want to broaden his palette. Guitarist/composer Rez Abbasi has been perfecting his own guitar voice, mainly playing electric, for some time. With his new CD, "Natural Selection", Abbasi forgoes the electric and turns to the acoustic guitar along with a new, unique ensemble. The Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet features the talents of Bill Ware on vibes, Stephan Crump on acoustic bass and Eric McPherson on drums. As Abbasi explains, "One of the elements that make the group stand out is the texture of acoustic guitar with vibes, bass and drums-something I haven't heard up until now. The sound is organic and chamber-like and it granted me a fresh palette to write new music from."
Guggenheim Fellow Ryan Cohan has distinguished himself as a vital original voice to be heard amongst the elite young jazz artists on the global music scene today. Upon receiving his performance degree from DePaul University in 1993, Cohan began making his mark playing and writing with the top jazz and Latin musicians in Chicago. He has since performed with many iconic artists including Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Paquito D'Rivera, and Kurt Elling. The pianist's second release as leader, "Another Look", features Geof Bradfield on reeds, Lorin Cohen on bass and Kobie Watkins on drums, a quartet that's been playing together in the U.S. and internationally for seven years.