February 3rd, 2020 7:30pm Stage 3
Celebrating Rockwood Music Hall's 15-Year Anniversary!
Although Mercy is Jon Cowherd's first album under his own name, the esteemed pianist/composer/arranger/producer is already firmly established as one of the jazz world's most accomplished, expressive and in-demand young musicians.
The Kentucky-raised, New Orleans-schooled, New York-based Cowherd is best known for his long-running partnership with drummer/bandleader Brian Blade, with whom he co-founded the Brian Blade Fellowship, whose acclaimed, influential albums showcase Cowherd's stellar keyboard work and singular compositional skills. When not recording and touring with the Fellowship, Cowherd has worked extensively with a broad array of players and singers from the jazz, pop and rock worlds.
Brian Blade Fellowship BandHis impressive resume aside, Mercy is the most compelling example yet of Jon Cowherd's remarkable sensitivity, inventiveness and versatility. Recorded in an inspired three-day session at New York's Avatar Studios, the sterling set is comprised of ten new Cowherd originals, with his sublime keyboard work anchoring an all-star quartet that includes Bill Frisell on acoustic and electric guitars, John Patitucci on acoustic bass and longtime collaborator Brian Blade on drums. The resulting album is a creative landmark for Cowherd, with such ambitious numbers as "The Columns," "Postlude," the three-part "Mercy Suite" and the playful departure "Recital Hour (Timmy's Theme)" demonstrating his gifts as an instrumentalist and composer.
Guitarist Steve Cardenas is following in the footsteps of contemporary stylists such as John Scofield and Pat Metheny. His warm, lyrical sound and frequently edgy improvisations put him in league with young, rock-influenced jazz players like Pete McCann and Ben Monder.
Originally from Kansas City, Cardenas is currently a busy sideman and leader in New York. He has performed and/or recorded with Steve Million, Maria Muldaur, Mark Isham, Paul McCandless, Jeff Beal, and pop/rock singer Tracy Bonham. He's also made a mark with several notable two-guitar ensembles, teaming up with Kurt Rosenwinkel in Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band as well as the live incarnation of Marc Johnson's Sound of Summer Running band, and with Brad Shepik in drummer Joey Baron's quartet Killer Joey.
Cardenas has also worked as a music educator at the New School in New York, Musician's Institute in Hollywood, Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camps, and the University of Missouri. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi
Since coming to New York in the 80s, Tony Scherr has become one of the city's most prolific and in-demand sidemen, playing integral roles in the music of such notable artists as Bill Frisell, John Lurie (Lounge Lizards), Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob), and Norah Jones, as well as some of New York's better-kept secrets, such as Jesse Harris and the Ferdinandos, The Wollesens, Ursa Minor, and Slowpoke.
Tony has recorded most of these latter artists at his Brooklyn home studio, helping to foster and document a tight-knit, intimate scene of players who are as skilled and daring as they are broadminded and modest.
Originally hailing from New Haven, CT, Tony played rock guitar in a garage band with his brother Peter as teens, before the two went their separate ways; Peter to become a concert bassist and film composer, and Tony to slug it out in the clubs of New York, ironically as primarily a bassist himself.
His debut album Come Around is a reunion of sorts, between the two brothers, between Tony and the electric guitar, and between the brothers and the rock/song idiom. The lyrical content in particular also charts a deeply personal journey, documenting a process of overcoming catastrophe and a renewed faith in the healing power of music. Above all else, the album serves as a message of hope.