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Emmet Cohen’s “Uptown in Orbit” featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play Nov. 28 – Dec. 2

Emmet Cohen
Gabriela Gabrielaa
Emmet Cohen

I think pianist Emmet Cohen has been here before. From his fifth-floor walk-up in Harlem, he recreates a rent party atmosphere with his hangs, putting, as he said on his last recording, a “future stride” to historical nuggets by Willie “the Lion,” Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and more. His own compositions might reference the past, but the push has a definite modern feel, whether with his trio, including bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole, or with the added muscular sound of trumpeter Sean Jones and saxophonist Patrick Bartley. In Cohen’s orbit on this new one we get inspired displays of Willie “The Lion” Smith, Cedar Walton, Gerry Mulligan, Neal Hefti and Duke Ellington, alongside Emmet’s own compositions.

Each morning, from Monday, Nov. 28 through Friday, Dec. 2, I'll feature one cut from Cohen’s Uptown in Orbit album on the New Day, New Play spotlight on my Daybreak show.

Listen to “Finger Buster” from Uptown in Orbit, above.

Recently Cohen talked with WBGO’s Sheila Anderson about the album and his weekly concert series.

Watch their conversation here:

Sheila A. + Emmet Cohen_TrimJW.mp4

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosts the morning show each weekday from 6:00am -12:00pm. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.