About the album
The playful part of the album starts with Ferrante’s funky “Eddie’s In The House,” his tip-of-the-hat to the late saxophonist Eddie Harris who first turned him on to jazz through his collaboration with pianist Les McCann on their Swiss Movement album. That’s followed by Kennedy’s “Fran’s Scene,” a play on his wife’s name (Francyne) that he masterminded, including the synth orchestration; while Mintzer’s skipping, carefree “Child’s Play” is a simple melody that has a depth to it with the band members’ support.
A highlight is the Yellowjackets’ lyrical, tenor sax-led cover of the traditional American folk song “Shenandoah.” “That was Bob’s idea,” says Ferrante. “He heard it in the last episode of that TV series The Newsroom and wanted to write a rearrangement for us to play.”
Ferrante’s “Coherence” ends the album with a chamber jazz feel of intertwining parts and the piano playing counterpoint to the melody. “It does have a classical music feeling with the fixed rhythm underneath,” says Ferrante. “Again this piece also connects to folk music. It’s a challenging piece to play and was one of the more difficult pieces to record. But we pulled it off.”
Speaking of “Coherence” the song, why is the album title Cohearence? Ferrante laughs and says it’s pun, with the word “hear” emphasized. But, if there is a theme at work on the recording, it is that sense of coherence.
When the Jackets were playing in London, Ferrante and Mintzer went to the Tate Modern where they were struck by the six-frame cycle of abstract paintings by Gerhard Richter, Cage—Six Paintings. “I decided to read further about it,” says Ferrante. “I was impressed by the fact that they were inspired by the music of John Cage and then I read that the paintings were described as a coherent group. So I started looking into that word.”
What Ferrante found was that the synonyms for coherent included balance, harmony, symmetry and unity. Given the music they were playing for the new album and the camaraderie of the band members, he had a profound realization that the triumph of Cohearence reveals the true nature of the group. “It means we’re all connected to what we’re doing as a band,” he says. “We’re making harmonious statements.”