Jill Cohn | Window To The Wise

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Rock: Adult Contemporary Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Window To The Wise

by Jill Cohn

The production of a U2 cd with palpable melancholy tendencies of Sarah McLachlan.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Calm
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3:10 $0.99
2. Oneness
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4:00 $0.99
3. Ask Me To Stay
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3:44 $0.99
4. Truthful Road
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3:45 $0.99
5. Standing Still
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4:34 $0.99
6. Never Ending Side
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4:10 $0.99
7. Do Or Die
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4:08 $0.99
8. Kerosene
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3:57 $0.99
9. Colorado
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4:05 $0.99
10. Twenty More Days
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3:27 $0.99
11. Longing
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4:13 $0.99
12. [Hidden Track]
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Despite the sensual intimacy of her sound, there's a vastness to the music of Jill Cohn. Her voice, delicate but durable, soars over gentle washes of color and exotic drones to perch on sturdy, melodic choruses, rewarding the listener with a sense of home." -- US MAGAZINE (June 2003)


"Her releatory vocals and lyrics display a mature emotional expressiveness, and her beautiful piano playing contrast the trip-hop grooves on "Kerosene" and Twenty More Days", creating a well-rounded album that won't leave your CD player soon."
-- KEYBOARD MAGAZINE (Dec. 2002)

"Though it's unfair to spin every sensitive female singer-songwriter around the Sarah McLachlan/Tori Amos axis, this Seattle-based performer definitely evokes those influences without succumbing to them. Comforting music for discomforting times." --JAM MAGAZINE (FEB. 2002)

"...Just released, her incredible Window to the Wise. All of the 10 melodic and memorable tracks capture her expressive and strong vocals and feature cool guitar strumming as well as some nice trumpet playing, pedal steel work and even a wicked banging on a beer bottle! Here's our word to the wise: Don't let this one pass you by." --ALBUM NETWORK (FEB. 2002)

'Jill Cohn is the perfect act to book for a peace rally or large coffeehouse. Her thought-provoking material and highly emotional delivery are what make her a strong solo artist. She is personable both onstage and off, which creates the feeling of being right in her living room. With the way of the world today, her throw-back Sixties style might just make a comeback.' --MUSIC CONNECTION (Jan. 2003)


"It's not a huge surprise that this veteran indie rocker and club performer lists on her extensive resume "Lilith Fair Sidestage Finalist," because with any luck, she could certainly have taken center stage with the famous women on that annual tour. With vocals that blend the angelic tenderness of Sarah McLachlan and just a bit of the punch of a Natalie Merchant, Cohn chooses to conceal the depth of her power for a few moments. "Calm" is mystical and new age-y, all haunting piano and ambience, very much along the lines of McLachlan's "Angel," combining spirituality and a bit of social conscience. "Oneness" offers a worldbeat groove and a richer, more rock-oriented vocal range. "Ask Me to Stay" blends the ambience with a tougher electric guitar groove, and Cohn's vocal is textured, the guttural blended with the gossamer. "Truthful Road" is a heavily produced rocker that even captures a bit of the Alanis Morissette vibe. This edge is followed by the softhearted, piano-oriented romance "Standing Still." While the rock numbers are solid, Cohn seems most at home on the graceful acoustic numbers that bite just a little vocally at just the right moments. Her lyrics offer image-rich poetry and demand a few readings to get at their deeper meanings. Her philosophies come together on the folksy closer about the dual natures of love, simply called "Longing.""
--by Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide

BIO:
One word that seems to have followed Jill Cohn around for virtually all of her professional career is "spiritual." Not in the musical or gospel sense, but derived from the deeply personal, introspective and occasionally ethereal nature of her songs. Even the title of her latest album, Window To The Wise, suggests a developmental arc widely removed from typical contemporary pop.

"I've always been seeking the purpose of life, says Cohn." "Why are we here, what am I doing on this planet, how do I get back to my true essence, all the Big Questions that people ask themselves. Those are the earliest things that I can remember, that and wanting to be a singer. And I see how intertwined both experiences have been for me."

In 1994, she released her first CD, 13September6, a six-song independently distributed EP. Charles Cross of the Seattle Rocket and Rolling Stone said of that EP, "Cohn's strengths are her extensive use of the piano (imagine Tori Amos or early Joni Mitchell) and how she's not afraid to let her powerful voice carry the melody." It wasn't the first time that Mitchell and Amos (and Kate Bush, for that matter) were invoked in describing Cohn, but Song Talk magazine seems to have gotten it right when they said, "[Cohn] sounds somewhat like all of the aforementioned, but mostly like herself."

Relocating to Seattle with her 17-pound cat, Tosca, Cohn launched herself into the music scene. While waitressing and working as a receptionist, she came to realize that the business of being an indie musician is every bit as much a craft as it is an art.

"I went from waiting tables 30 hours a week to working, well, every day of my life. It was only this last Christmas that I took my first real vacation since 1996," says Cohn.

Her first full album, The Laughing Universe, was released in the spring of 1997. The disc was recorded live in a church, at a benefit for First Place, a school for homeless children in Seattle. Los Angeles' Buzz newspaper said the disc contained "lilting acoustic pop excursions [which] are deeply personal and often heartstring-tugging."

Cohn's third CD, her first full-length studio album, was called Stories From The BlueBus and was released in March of 1998. By this time, she had ranged out fairly far from her home base of Seattle and was playing as far east as Colorado and Texas. Some of the press was beginning to tag her as "Lilith's other daughter," despite the fact that she came in third in the Lilith talent search in Seattle (she would have been selected to play in Phoenix had she been a local, but her honesty got in the way and she declined in favor of someone who actually called Phoenix home). Salt Lake's City Weekly waxed poetic about the disc nonetheless: "Those of open emotions will rejoice. The rest of us will drop jaws at the sound of her luminescent voice, a force that sounds like a siren calling out from the unknown center of some pure, azure-colored ocean."

In January of 2000, Cohn released her most ambitious album to that point, The Absence Of Moving. Self-produced with a distinctive voice (in both senses of the word), Moving extended Cohn's following eastward and southward, and sent the critics to the dictionaries for new superlatives. Performing Songwriter described it this way: "There's a windblown spirituality as well as a full-bodied, lovely worldliness to Jill Cohn's writing. The songs...pour out of the speakers like rainwater; clear, life-giving and cool. Cohn's voice, though, is the highlight...expressive and strong, and Cohn uses it well in her hovering, otherworldly melodies."

For all of that, Cohn is no hothouse flower. She's out there, living in the world (as in songs like "Truthful Road" and "Standing Still"), and reflecting on it (as in "Kerosene" and "Ask Me To Stay"). Recorded in a mere 13 days, the sound and scope of Window To The Wise have taken a dramatic step forward from Cohn's earlier work, thanks to Cohn's writing, her band's performances and contributions, and a lucky break. New Orleans-based producer Ethan Allen, whose credits include work with Daniel Lanois, Better Than Ezra and Throwing Muses, was initially contacted by fellow Crescent City native Brady Kish (who also happens to be Cohn's bassist). Allen responded enthusiastically, and offered to cut the album in Seattle. He brought with him Grammy-winning engineer Jim Watts, who recorded Red Dirt Girl by Emmylou Harris. Together with the band, they have produced a polished and radio-friendly sound that showcase Cohn's considerable vocal talents to the fullest.


Reviews


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Though it's unfair to spin every sensitive female singer-songwriter around the Sarah McLachlan/Tori Amos axis, she evokes those influences without succumbing to them. There's a windblown spirituality as well as a full-bodied, lovely worldliness to her writing. The songs pour out of the speakers like rainwater: clear, life-giving and cool. Her voice is expressive and strong, with hovering, otherworldly melodies.

Leanne

one of the best sonic mixes I have heard in a long time
It so happened that I sat down to listen to Jill Cohn’s Window to the Wise on an evening when I was completely depressed. My roommates had moved out earlier in the afternoon, and the apartment had an echo. I was packing to move out later in the week. I didn’t want to leave. The weather was cold and pouring rain. I had to go to work the next day, very early. The only company I had was my cat.
Then I pressed play. In a non-cheesy, non-whiny, totally relatable, and unaffected, way, Jill Cohn sang about every single emotion I was feeling that winter day throughout the 11 tracks on her sophomore CD. And then, I actually began to feel…better. In “Oneness” she assured me that “the road to love is a lonely one, you don’t have to go it alone…I embrace my oneness.” I believed her, and all of a sudden, I began to embrace my oneness.
Needless to say, once I crossed that hurdle and began to get over myself, I started to truly enjoy her music and lyrics, which vary from soul to blues to rock (on the softer side). The combination of her voice, a piano, a guitar, and the occasional saxophone haunting me from the background is one of the best sonic mixes I have heard in a long time.
Throw in some perfectly proportioned doses of political consciousness (in “Calm”: “People grow colder, the planet gets warmer”), and I am sold. She really does sing about everything I care about. This is certainly a disc that will stay in the player long after the review is completed.
In “Truthful Road”, Cohn talks about a guy, who “took [her] where [she] never went before.” Truth to be told, I wish she would just forget the guy and take me on a journey, at least musically speaking. Because from here on in, anything Jill Cohn initiates, I follow.

Chaos Realm

A wonderful release
this sees JILL COHN come waltzing into my ears with such an engaging, personable voice that I'd swear I'd known her for years. Her band gets behind her in a variety of sounds, from cool, hooky pop to bluesy to jazzy & it all works famously. Wow, what a gorgeous voice!

Deana Segretario

Thought-provoking material delivered with emotion and grace
live review of Cohn's performance at Genghis Cohen in
West Hollywood, CA
From liberating folk songs fit for a peace rally, to tales of withered friendships, Jill Cohn hands you her heart and soul. Self-reflective storytelling expresses her grief over missed opportunities to make amends with friends long gone. She speaks to those who have forgotten how to love and brings hope to those who still do. With a “love will heal all” attitude, she leaves the listener with a positive message long after her instruments are unplugged.
Musicianship: Most of Cohn’s set is played using her acoustic guitar, though she is equally impressive on the keys. Her skills at either instrument stand on their own and provide considerable support for her singing. Reminiscent of a young Joni Mitchell or a matured Sarah McLachlan, her vocal ability is where she really shines. Her range is impressive and appropriate for her passionate material, which gets through to her audience with grace and a little bit of humor.
Performance: Traveling from Seattle to promote her fifth release, Window to the Wise, Cohn looked comfortable in L.A. Talkative between songs, she performed solo, alternating between her guitar and keyboard. Though she played loosely with no set-list, and offered to play requests, the performance maintained an air of professionalism. An untitled song containing the lyrics “strong enough to move on” was asked to be repeated before its final note rang out. Ultimately, her 14-song set didn’t last a minute too long for the listener or performer.
Summary: Jill Cohn is the perfect act to book for a peace rally or large coffeehouse. Her thought-provoking material and highly emotional delivery are what make her a strong solo artist. She is personable both onstage and off, which creates the feeling of being right in her living room. With the way of the world today, her throw-back Sixties style might just make a comeback.

David Lilly

She seems to have a Lennon/"Imagine" moment during the first song
Wind from the West Coast is carrying Jill Cohn's music this way and it isn't necessary to be outdoors to feel it. The sound of Cohn's voice evokes a pleasant breeze while she vocalizes human emotion and sincerity. Window to the Wise is her fifth CD and while it is the first of hers I've heard, this disc is a beauty. At first I thought her producer (and multiinstrumentalist contributor to this record) might also be in the furniture business and then it dawned on me that there could be more than one Ethan Allen.

Aside from having a lovely voice, Cohn (rhymes with 'tone') plays guitar, keyboards and is a good songwriter. I don't pretend to be a connoiseur of poetry or lyricism, but when Cohn can write lines like, "I'm swimming in your skin/dying to take you in/breathing in your breath/pondering your depth," in "Ask Me to Stay," I figure she has some depth of her own and she's brave enough to express human vulnerability whether it is autobiographical or not.

She seems to have a Lennon/"Imagine" moment during the first song, "Calm," when she sings, "I wonder if the world would stop for just one minute/if everyone closed their eyes and pictured calm." Nice thought, even if on the surface it might sound naïve or new agey. However, like a lot of art, we probably should not take it literally. On the other hand, is there a sane person who doesn't want that kind of peace (at least in their mind)? "Truthful Road" opens with a guitar sounding like the anticipation inherent in a lit fuse; then it rocks its alluring way through a dry truck stop along the protagonist's own road of discovery. After all the folk, rock, and lyrical smoke has cleared, the CD comes to an unexpected and strikingly pretty close with what sounds like a cello and violin dancing in harmony with each other.

LMNOP

slick and smooth collection of inviting tunes was, incredibly, independently pro
Although she may not be as well known as the biggies in the world of female singer/songwriters...Jill Cohn most certainly has the skills...and particular the voice...to blow the others off the map. This slick and smooth collection of inviting tunes was, incredibly, independently produced and released. This is testament to the fact that artists no longer need record companies in order to record and sell their music...and succeed on their own terms. The beautifully flowing tunes on Window to the Wise present a young lady who is blessed with an uncanny ability to write sweeping melodies and execute them perfectly. Soft, sincere, delicate, and inviting...this album is a fresh reminder of just how good music can be. Superb cuts include "Calm," "Oneness," "Do or Die," and "Longing."

Jonathan Widran-ALL MUSIC GUIDE

she could certainly have taken center stage with the famous women on that annual
It's not a huge surprise that this veteran indie rocker and club performer lists on her extensive resume "Lilith Fair Sidestage Finalist," because with any luck, she could certainly have taken center stage with the famous women on that annual tour. With vocals that blend the angelic tenderness of Sarah McLachlan and just a bit of the punch of a Natalie Merchant, Cohn chooses to conceal the depth of her power for a few moments. "Calm" is mystical, all haunting piano and ambience, very much along the lines of McLachlan's "Angel," combining spirituality and a bit of social conscience. "Oneness" offers a world beat groove and a richer, more rock oriented vocal range. "Ask Me To Stay" blends the ambience with a tougher electric guitar groove, and Cohn's vocal is textured, the guttural blended with the gossamer. "Truthful Road" is a heavily produced rocker which even captures a bit of the Alanis Morrisette vibe. This edge is followed by the softhearted, piano-oriented romance "Standing Still." While the rock numbers are solid, Cohn seems most at home on the graceful acoustic numbers that bite just a little vocally at just the right moments. Her lyrics offer image rich poetry that demand a few readings to get at their deeper meanings. Her philosophies come together on the folksy closer about the dual natures of love, simply called Longing.

C.E. Pelc--FM SOUNDS

You know how sometimes someone will say a singer has the voice of an angel?
Well I always thought that was the silliest compliment that could ever be given because I would never agree. That is until I put on Jill Cohn’s latest and fifth album, Window to the Wise. Now I am a believer that some singers do have voices that are just pure heaven. Inspiring and bright, Cohn’s voice reins supreme over the album’s 11 tracks, from the opening piano ballad “Calm” that has the power to move mountains as well as to move you to tears, to the bluesy attitude-dripping track “Truthful Road.” Every song is better than the next and her influences of Tori Amos, Adam Duritz and Joni Mitchell are all quite evident. A superb album from one of the best female singers I’ve heard in quite some time.

Kevlar7- Slugs Magazine, SLC. UT

solid voice and simple, but masterful song writing
I want to set the record straight that Jill Cohn is a powerful vocalist that deserves to take her place with all the great American folk singers of past and today. Cohn plays blissful lazy piano and acoustic guitars that approach to close to hippie-ness, but what stands her apart is her solid voice and simple, but masterful song writing.

Hannah Logan

Jill's beautiful heart pours out of her gifted mouth!
I have been a fan of Jill since her first "little" CD, 13September6...
and each one has been an improvement on the previous one.The experiences she sings of have made her life, her voice and her performances richer...and Window to the Wise is no exception...her voice is even stronger, even more soulful. As usual,Jill really has something to say and does a beautiful job saying it. I look forward to seeing her live in Los Angeles in May!
I only give her 4 stars, instead of 5, because I know she is gonna keep getting better and I love listening to her reach for the next one;)
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