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Evan Cobb – Hot Chicken (2016)

Artist : Evan Cobb
Release Date : 09-09-2016
Catalog : EUR0411

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ABOUT: HOT CHICKENMCW_9631MCW_5343(L to R) Brendan Harkin, James DaSilva, Joe Davidian, Matt White, Evan Cobb, Josh Hunt, Jonathan Wires, Roland Barber, Roger Spencer


From Evan…
The ten tracks on Hot Chicken represent the ten best compositions and arrangements that I’ve composed in the past five years. Since the release of Falling Up in 2011, I’ve written dozens of jazz tunes and workshopped them here in Nashville. For me, composing is a process filled with editing, trying again, and often scrapping ideas entirely. It’s important to me that all of my tunes sound like intelligent, creative music that was discovered with an instrument, not notes derived from the pencil and paper. The music of Hot Chicken covers a wide range, reflecting many styles and influences that permeate through the great musical landscape of Nashville in which I get to work. Please enjoy!


the players:polaroids
Evan Cobb – tenor sax, alto sax (6), flute (4, 7)
Matt White – trumpet, flugelhorn (2)
Joe Davidian – piano
Jonathan Wires – bass
Joshua Hunt – drums
Roland Barber – trombone (3, 9, 10)
James DaSilva – guitar (3, 9)
Jay Karp – alto sax (10)
Gabriel Collins – tenor sax (10)


the music:
01) Constriketion (5:56)
As a composer, I find the need to edit a lot to distill ideas into a cohesive tune. This title refers to that process: piecing together of ideas and trying them, sometimes striking them down but other times finding functional constructs.

02) Ocean Currents (7:04)
I love so much about oceans, particularly the shifting sounds of the waves. I love thinking about how the tide is always moving one direction, whether you’re paying attention to it or not. I tried to capture the idea of flowing in different directions in this tune.

03) Hot Chicken (7:39)
I was vegetarian for over three years, when hot chicken began to take Nashville by storm. As it turns out, hot chicken is really delicious. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and enjoy what you have at hand.

04) Neuhoff Mambo (6:22)
This was first written for my friend Liz Johnson Schafer, who shared a wonderful story with me about the late Steven McRedmond and paying it forward. Stephen was the original owner of the Neuhoff complex, where the Nashville Jazz Workshop resides.

05) Tennesatie Blues (8:10)
This is an homage to Erik Satie, an incredible inventor and genius. I love how his piano music uses one or two simple ideas to create such a distinct vibe and feeling. I took aim at that, courtesy of half-steps!

06) The Why Lab (7:15)
This was originally written for my friend Derrek Phillips, who used to lead a brilliant band called the Manufactory. Since I have a teenager’s brain for humor, I often heard it as “man factory.” That’s where I supposed they would give a zygote a ‘Y’ chromosome, thus the title.

07) If I Only Had A Brain (7:53)
This is such a memorable tune, I’ve always wondered why it isn’t played more frequently in the jazz lexicon. I gave it a modern dressing up, but I think it’s still recognizable and fun to hum along with!

08) Twinkie Requiem (5:25)
Remember when Twinkie production was said to be terminated at the end of 2012? That didn’t last long, did it? Forward march!

09) Heaven Beside You (7:40)
As an adolescent in the early 90s, I enjoyed grunge and hard rock as much as anyone. I still do, in fact. The Alice In Chains Unplugged album is one of my “desert island discs,” and I had been thinking about making an arrangement of one of those tunes for years.

10) Tea For Forty-Seven (4:15)
When an out of touch rich man infamously told supporters at a Tea Party fundraising dinner that 47 percent of Americans were entitled, irresponsible people who didn’t pay taxes I got angry. As it turns out, the joke was on him. This piece is my response to that, with a nod to the jazz standard Tea For Two.

(total time: 68:04)


Evan Cobb, Hot Chicken – Notes By Thomas Staudter

The fifth time within a few days I listened to—and wholly enjoyed once again—the new album from Evan Cobb, Hot Chicken, the qualities that caused the disc to receive such uncommon “play and repeat” treatment were readily discerned. There’s top-notch ensemble performances by an engaging core quintet and a few guests, make-you-smile melodies and arrangements spread across a few genres (hard bop, funk, pop-rock, Latin jazz, blues) and the warm, confident sax and flute playing of the leader. Each of the CD’s ten tunes has its own personality and offers a relaxingly unique take on creation and cohesion within the Improviser’s Art. Another spin and I’m wondering whatever happened to music that embraces the principle of Serious Fun? Where the musicians involved don’t sound like they are trying too hard or purposefully aiming to ignore convention and defy categorization?

Cobb is on his way to becoming one of the Great Communicators among the adepts and purveyors of a musical idiom that, unfortunately, comes across too frequently these days like a secret language. He’s a multi-instrumentalist with a multi-dimensional presence; you hear his playing, and feel it, too. It is easy to sense from Hot Chicken Cobb’s generous spirit with his bandmates and a desire to intelligibly connect with listeners rather than outwit them. When music emanates from such clear intentions, there’s no mistaking the message, or whether it is worthwhile repeating it or not. Thus, Cobb’s grand statement here: “Let it play!”



All compositions by Evan Cobb
© Cobb’s Mob Publishing co ASCAP

except: Track 6 composed by Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg / arranged by Evan Cobb
Track 9 composed by Jerry Cantrell & Mike Inez / arranged by Evan Cobb
Produced by Evan Cobb & Roger Spencer
Recorded May 12/13, 2016
Engineered and mixed by Brendan Harkin at Wildwood Studios, Franklin, TN
Mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master Studios, Nashville, TN
Graphic Design by Ryan Scammell
Photography by Graham Gerdeman & Michael Weintrob
www.evancobbjazz.com



from the band:
“Evan is a consummate musician: a world class bandleader, composer, arranger, and soloist. His work on this new project is a complete reflection of that. A fantastic album.” – James DaSilva

“As a musician I am drawn to artists who embrace what is unique about their voice. I also treasure the observable evolution of that unique voice in every artist. Evan Cobb’s new album, Hot Chicken, is such a great example of his evolution as an artist with something unique to say.” – Joshua Hunt

“In spite of being a vegetarian for the past decade, I couldn’t pass up this particular dish of hot chicken. Evan really out did himself on this recording. His music is designed in such a way that it is pensive – and yet, fun and lively to play. I find that his music opens up your mind, heart and soul if you let it. It’s more than just a side dish. It is a staple of the Nashville jazz diet.”  – Jonathan Wires

Evan’s a great player and composer and a good friend. It was a joy working with him and the boys on his new project, which is chock full of forward-thinking original compositions and some really interesting takes on classic jazz tunes. I’m not sure if he’s any good at cooking hot chicken, but he’s pretty ridiculous at the saxophone… so we’ll cut him a break. – Joe Davidian

My favorite part of making Hot Chicken was hearing how Evan and the band has developed in the five years since Falling Up. Although the album is polished and concise, there was a great sense of freedom and communication in the studio. The compositions and everyone’s playing has grown so much and I think it’s reflected positively in the finished product. He’s my musical brother and I admire that he’s developed an individual voice while respecting the tradition and approaching music with honesty and integrity. I’m really proud of this album and honored to be a part of Evan’s group.” – Matt White


(Left / Right)
Roland Barber / James DaSilva
Matt White / Joe Davidian
Josh Hunt / Evan Cobb
Wildwood Studio

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everybody ear up!