Pianist Emmet Cohen lends modern ear to vintage styles with Future Stride

Emmet Cohen embarks on a trip through the long history of jazz piano with his latest album Future Stride.

In his first album for Mack Avenue, the pianist and composer recruited bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole — his frequent collaborators — for a trio recording that also features performances by saxophonist Melissa Aldana and trumpeter Marquis Hill.

Future Stride revisits the sounds of stride piano from as early as the 1920s and reimagines them with a modern ear, resulting in a mix of originals and vintage tunes that sound contemporary.

Below you can listen to Toast to Lo, a tribute to the late Lawrence “Lo” Leathers that features a particularly thrilling performance by Aldana.

The album represents a breakthrough opportunity during a lucrative period for the 30-year-old pianist. Cohen was the 2019 recipient of the Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz from the American Pianists Association, which landed him a $50,000 prize, a record deal with Mack Avenue and two years of career advancement services.

Cohen has previously released eight albums — including his four-volume signature project, the Masters Legacy Series — and has appeared regularly with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Houston Person, Kurt Elling, Lea DeLaria and more.

As an educator, he’s an international clinician through programs such as Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People and curates multidisciplinary YoungArts programs across the U.S.

Future Stride is out Jan. 29 via Mack Avenue.

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