"Eclectic drummer Tom Cohen sparks out with (t)his release...Kaleidoscopic visions of drums/ strings promenade us with wonderful known tunes...Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jef Lee Johnson attempt a hasty-palpitation on Sonny Rollins' 'Airegin.'
The tenacious Cohen, keyed to hit on this way, is in awesome interplay with his folks. His homage to Trane, 'Lazy Bird,' is breezily injected with Brazilian/Latin motives. The pas de deux between bassist Revis and guitarist Abassi is awesome on 'You and the Night and the Music.'
Alongside Tom Cohenís magic roll, guitarists Bruce Saunders, Rez Abassi, Jef Lee Johnson, Ben Monder, Paul Bollenbeck and Kurt Rosenwinkel deliver a cogent adjournment to every track, painting beaming harmonic lines, bop drifts and cyclical impulses surrounded by some polyphonic rhythms. Add to all this the presence of bassists John Hebert, Chico Huff, Conrad Korsch, Steve LaSpina and Erci Revis and we attain an opus blazed by great insight and outstanding groundwork.
In a nutshell, Tom Cohenís The Guitar Project Trio is a conscientious album, highly poetic. A booming achievement is hidden here - another high step reached by artists who have been around the downtown scene for over a while!"
"...Dreambox puts out one of its strongest recordings here. Drummer Tom Cohen pairs with six different guitar and bass trios, and the switching puts him in some invigorating company.
Philly is well represented by former resident Kurt Rosenwinkel, and a current one, Jef Lee Johnson. Rosenwinkel, whose career has gone bicoastal, offers a fleet-fingered 'Airegin' while Johnson, a unique presence...puts his funk-derived derring-do to work on 'All Blues' and 'Caravan.'
The Pakistani-born Rez Abbasi gives a haunting feel to 'You Don't Know What Love Is,' while Paul Bollenbeck finds the driving swing in 'Passion Dance."
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Drummer Tom Cohen sure knows a lot of guitarists, and those he knows are decidedly of the 'downtown' variety... this is pretty fun music...The leader is an adept, responsive player, who teams up well with top-notch bassists like LaSpina and Hebert and Mike Richmond, among others. These various pairings serve both to support and to challenge the multiple six-stringers. Jef Lee Johnson, late of Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, gallops his way through 'Caravan,' merging post-harmolodic sensibilities with mainstream chops (and the occasional pan-genre spasm of eccentricity)...Bruce Saunders is new to me, but his thoughtful and understated reading of 'Cherokee' (which could be lifted from a Paul Motian record, notably when Cohen works his cymbals like an expert colorist) is a delight. So too is his more knotty and dense playing on Corea's 'Inside Out.' Rosenwinkel pulls off a brisk, invigorating 'Airegin' and a craggy, thoughtful 'Lazy Bird.'
...Monder, on the other hand, departs from his cosmic Frisell-isms on a wondrously cranked up 'All the Things' (where he cribs, double-time, from the old Mingus arrangement tag at the end)...And Paul Bollenbeck is in fine form on Tyner's too-seldom-done 'Passion Dance,' with its lightly funky coda. There's a lot to chew on here...but overall this will delight..."
"...'The Guitar Trio Project' showcases Cohen's highly interactive drumming style...
Cohen succeeded in getting several elevated takes with his various trio mates. With LaSpina and Monder, a harmonically inventive guitarist who has worked extensively with Maria Schneider's Orchestra and Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, they radically reinvent such timeless vehicles as 'All the Things You Are,' 'I'll Remember April' and 'All or Nothing at All."
...Rosenwinkel is featured alongside bassist Richmond in a rare bop setting, burning his way through a blistering rendition of Sonny Rollins' 'Airegin.' He also turns in a relaxed rendition of John Coltrane's 'Lazy Bird,' which Cohen underscores with a Brazilian baiao rhythm...
Cohen's Philly colleague Johnson, a fiery guitarist who has played with the likes of Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Ronald Shannon Jackson, appears on provocative takes of Duke Ellington's 'Caravan' and Miles Davis' 'All Blues.' He also breaks out his arsenal of effects on an expansive version of Jimi Hendrix' 'Third Stone From the Sun.'
Bollenback, longtime sideman to B3 organ burner Joey DeFrancesco, turns in a faithful rendition of McCoy Tyner's 'Passion Dance' alongside bassist Revis, while guitarist Abbasi joins bassist Hebert for a highly impressionistic take on 'You and the Night and the Music' and a dramatic reading of 'You Don't Know What Love Is,' which Cohen colors with mallets and cymbals. One of the best-kept secrets of 'The Guitar Trio Project' is Bruce Saunders, an abundantly creative six-stringer who has been flying under the radar for the past 20 years on the New York scene. His slowed down, 5/4 rendition of 'Cherokee' and his odd intervallic leaping on Chick Corea's 'Inside Out' provide some high points here..."
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