Article: Cookie Coogan — Straight Outta Maine

Here’s my latest article for The Guide, the entertainment magazine put out by The Island Packet newspaper on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This piece is credited on the Web site to “Joshua Klein.” I promise, I wrote it.

Cookie Coogan: Straight Outta Maine
Published Friday, November 9, 2007

When most people hear the word “jazz,” they associate it with particular geographic areas, such as New York City, Chicago, New Orleans and, um, Maine?

“I was introduced to jazz as a junior high school student in rural Maine,” said pianist and vocalist Cookie Coogan.Many of the school music teachers in the area were and are also fine jazz musicians. I started out playing piano and vibes in the school stage band and went on to study at Maine Jazz Camp during the summers.”

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The Jazz Session #33: Kate McGarry

Jason Crane interviews vocalist Kate McGarry about her new album, The Target (Palmetto, 2007). It’s yet another stellar album in a career that has seen her working with everyone from Fred Hersch to Maria Schneider. On The Target, McGarry is joined by her husband Keith Ganz on guitar, Gary Versace on organ and piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums, along with guest appearances from saxophonist Donny McCaslin and Theo Bleckman on voice loops. On both American songbook classics and impressive new compositions, the band finds an organic chemistry that brings something new to the old tunes and makes the new tunes sound familiar.

The Jazz Session #32: Tord Gustavsen

Jason Crane interviews pianist and composer Tord Gustavsen. His most recent recording, Being There (ECM, 2007), is part of a trilogy of records exploring the intimate territory traversed by the pianist and his trio. With bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad, Gustavsen delves deeply into the rich musics of the world, filtering the results through a contemplative lens. Being There is an album that rewards repeated listening, and the interview makes it clear that a lot of thought and passion has gone into the music.