Pensive – Al Cohn
A ballad by saxophone master Al Cohn, mainstay of countless sessions, composer/arranger extraordinaire.
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- Recording: Al Cohn - Overtones
- Recorded on: April 19, 1982
- Label: Concord (CJ 194)
- Concert Key: D-flat minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Ballad
- Tenor Sax - Al Cohn
- Guitar - Joe Cohn
- Piano - Hank Jones
- Bass - George Duvivier
- Drums - Akira Tana
Four months after the "Overtones" session, Charlie Byrd recorded a multiple guitar version of Pensive in the key of D, a half step down from the original key, on a live session, "At Charlie's Georgetown," In 1988, guitarist Howard Alden recorded it (in the original key) in a duo context with bass. In 1991, alto saxophonist Phil Woods recorded it for the first of his three recordings of the composition, on his "Full House" recording for Milestone Records. Alto saxophonist Herb Geller recorded it in a duo context with piano in his 1994 album "Herb Geller Plays The Al Cohn Songbook."
We also want to bring to your attention two additional recordings of Pensive by Phil Woods that are available as downloads. The first, in 2000, Phil Woods with The Italian Rhythm Machine (feat. Stefano Bollani) , and the most recent, in 2010, Dialogues With Christopher, where Phil accompanies himself on piano.
Don Sickler: "Al's ballad is so beautiful, so heavy with harmonic complexity, I ask my arranging students to orchestrate it. No one can hurt it; it can withstand maltreatment from any student."
November 24, 1925 – February 15, 1988
Al Cohn, born in Brooklyn, NY, went on to become not only a brilliant jazz tenor saxophonist, but an arranger, leader and sideman par excellence. From the "Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection," East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania website: "His career in jazz spanned more than 45 years. He performed with the bands of Henry Jerome, Joe Marsala, Georgie Auld, Alvino Rey, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Elliot Lawrence and others. Many of the arrangements used by these bands were written by Al, and he also arranged for Gerry Mulligan, Quincy Jones, Terry Gibbs and Jimmy Rushing. Read more...