Safe in Your Arms
“Safe In Your Arms is the long-awaited new release by pianist/composer Scott Cossu. One of the founders of the new age music genre (giving it a jazz and world music influence) and one of the first artists to join the Windham Hill roster of artists, Cossu has had a long and varied career. It is interesting to note that early on, George Winston opened for Scott in concert and the two toured and performed together for several years.
The music on Safe In Your Arms is a combination of new compositions and newly re-recorded pieces from older albums that have gone out of print. Joining Cossu and his piano are long-time collaborator guitarist Van Manakas, flute and harmonica wizard John Croarkin, and alto flutist Ann Lindquist. Cossu says in the liner notes: “These new compositions will hopefully take you to a place of tranquility. My goal was to produce a recording of tender lullabies and ballads, which returns to a signature musical style that I loved yesterday, as well as today.” Inspired in part by his two “adorable granddaughters,” heartwarming photos of Scott and the two little girls at the piano grace the cover and liner notes booklet. I should also mention that I started listening to this album in my wake-up alarm. It usually woke me up when the music started, but then I drifted right back off to sleep, so this is VERY soothing and relaxing music!
Safe In Your Arms begins with the title tune, a sweetly lyrical piece that features piano, guitar, and flute. Graceful and overflowing with tenderness, it’s a lovely start. “Angel Steps” continues in a similar vein, a beautiful trio where the lead is the magical voice of three musical artists playing from the heart. “Fawn” originally appeared on Cossu’s 1984 release, Islands. Gently flowing and jazz-tinged, it’s great to have this piece available again! “Little Sunshine Girl” features some beautiful acoustic guitar by Van Manakas in addition to piano and flute - love it! “Purple Mountain,” a Cossu classic that originally appeared on his 1981 Wind Dance, is as fresh and alive as it was almost 35 years ago. “Gwenlaise” is also classic Cossu and is a piece he often performs in concert. Originally recorded in 1986 with cellist Eugene Friesen, this new arrangement is a gorgeous trio for piano, guitar, and flute. “A Child’s Eyes,” from 1989’s Switchback includes some haunting harmonica by John Croarkin, an artist I had the pleasure of hosting in concert with Scott on two occasions - what a magical pair they are! I think my favorite track (although I like them all!) is the closing “Sanctuary” from Switchback. Piano, flute, and guitar tell the story as a beautifully-flowing unit where no one has the lead yet all three musicians shine and each is absolutely essential for this arrangement to work - it’s a great ending to another great album from Scott Cossu!
Safe In Your Arms will be a treat for Scott Cossu’s longtime fans as well as anyone new to his music. It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very strongly recommended!”
– Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
2015 Heart Dance Records
Jazz, Boogie and Déjà Blues
“Pianist Scott Cossu ratchets up the groove dial with JAZZ, BOOGIE & DEJA BLUES. All three of these genres, as well as ethnic experimentation, have always peaked into Cossu’s music over the years, but this release fixes the spotlight firmly on them. You would be hard pressed to find another album that does such a great job of expressing the pure joy of making music. Playful and full of fun, this is great music that can be savored on many levels.”
– Kathy Parsons, from Mainly Piano
Top 1000 Reviewer Vine Voice
“Whether new fan or old, this is a welcome post card from a cat that hasn’t been gone too long but has been on the sidelines for too long. Smoking piano jazz from a real cooker that’s totally back in fine form.
– Midwest Record, Chris Spector, Editor
2012 Summit Records
Tides Between Us
“It is great to hear these new beautiful compositions of Scott’s”.
– George Winston
Haunting beautiful Music, the kind that stays with you for a long time.
–Number 15 on the charts of the
New Age Reporter.
Number 88 on the Top 100 Airplay Chart for 2009
– Zone Music Reporter
#17 on the 20 most played CDs for March 2004
– Earth Feeling –Love FM Fukuoka, Japan
2007 Allegro Music
“Scott Cossu is one of New Age music’s brightest instrumental stars and yet his music is uncomfortable with that arbitrate designation. Combining his love and knowledge of folk, jazz and classical composition, Cossu’s album EMERALD PATHWAY is pleasant music and so much more. Using the mountains, mossy forest, and rivers that surround him as musical inspiration, Cossu pares down his palette to the basics: piano, guitar, flute and percussion. Coming from a composer who has previously employed dozens of musician to create his music, this would seem prohibitively limiting, but Cossu focused on his experience as a classical composer, and relies on form and structure to express himself instead of polyphony ad ethnic stylings. Tracks are preformed as chamber pieces that feature all the tonal coloring and gathering intensity of traditional classical music. Cossu’s experiment in simplicity has repaid him in musical abundance.”
– All Music Review
Released September 3, 2002 and was the first title of the new Alula Visions label.
2002 ALU 3000
When Spirits Fly
“Scott Cossu’s return to the new age/smooth jazz fold is a miracle in itself. Hit by a car while crossing a street in Los Angeles in 1989, the keyboardist’s resulting amnesia meant he had to learn music all over again and rediscover his gifts.When Spirits Fly is then not only a tribute to the preciousness of life, but also confirmation that after a long period of recovery, he’s just as melodic as ever...Cossu proves that even spiritual minded composers can swing with the funkiest of jazz players; many of the jumping, percussive lines of ‘Hakone’ and ‘Vina Del Mar’ are done in perfect tandem with the Wes Montgomery flavored guitar of Van Manakas...He bounces off the reliable soprano sax of Justo Almario on the laid back ‘Coming Home’ and goes for a touch of the exotic with violinist Willie Royal (from Willie & Lobo) on the title track... While Cossu draws upon his instrument’s extraordinary percussive potential, ultimately it’s the graceful beauty of simple melodies which stay with the listener longest.”
– Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide
“For instrumental/atmospheric jazz fans, here’s a fine new work.”
– Chris Yeargers, Victory Music Review
“This CD is an uplifting and enjoyable listen with a lot of musical merit. It’s primarily an acoustic outing, with shades of light classical, boogie (‘Vina Del Mar’), and easy listening.”
— Hughes Reviews
“New age mainstay Scott Cossu is back after a long absence with his new album of accessible, earthy, piano-based instrumentals...Landing between pop and light jazz, ‘When Spirits Fly’ is a creative, acoustic-based new age record of enduring beauty, sure to lift the spirits of those who waited and win some new fans in the process.”
– The Big Room
1998 MIRIMAR 09006-23134-2
Stained Glass Memories
With Van Manakas, Dave Valentin, and Sammy Figueroa
“This recording finds the pianist in fine tuned perfection, writing and playing life affirming songs of wonderment.”
– Movin’ in Stereo
“What a breath of fresh air! I was especially taken by cut #4, Old Man Mambo... I think that it is a perfect song! Bravo Scott!”
– Pac Attacks
“The release of Stained Glass Memories...caps one of the most remarkable stories of personal triumph in contemporary music. Consistent with Cossu’s popular and distinctively melodic blend of jazz, classical and ethnic influences, the new music evokes a panorama of deep emotions. Stained Glass Memories, recorded with previous Cosuu collaborators guitarist Van Manakas, flutist Dave Valentin, bassist Mark Egan, and drummer Robbie Armeen, is a joyous celebration of recovery from a traumatic car accident Cossu suffered in 1989. It is powerful evidence of his recovery and the full majesty of his musical language.”
– MusD, All Music Guide
1992 Windham Hill 01934-11120-2
A ten year retrospective of Cossu’s work on the Windham Hill label, a chronical of his most popular works. The album exhibits Scott’s many departures from the new age field, with a melodic blend of jazz, classical and ethnic influences.
1992 Windham Hill 01934 11112-2
“Listeners will experience the wonder of a musical performance by Van Manakas on fretless bass and acoustic guitar and Scott Cossu on piano, guitar and keyboards. Also featured are the sounds of songbirds, sparring elk, rain, wind and a stream.”
- MusD, All Music Guide
Van Manakas with Scott Cossu
1991 Non-Broadcast Video Finalist Award
– The 34th Annual New York Festivals
1991 Peter Roberts PRCD2010
#4 New Horizons Pick of the Year, #2 Gavin Record Charts.
“He has an ear for the right riff, and his group manages to sound sincere while stretching the limits of the style just slightly.”
– Keyboard Magazine
“Switchback is his seventh and most passionate album to date. Rich in atmospheric textures. Pick of the month.”
– Tempo Magazine
1989 Windham Hill WD-1081
She Describes Infinity
With guitarist Van Manakas, produced by Tom Canning.
“If you are in the mood for some articulate and intelligent music to calm your soul, this is for you.”
– The Daily Aztec
“An engaging, melodious album with a variety of musical shadings.”
– The Blade
“Adorned with rich instrumentation, Cossu brings his classical background together with the influences of early soul and a little pop jazz.”
1987 Windham Hill WD-1063
With Paul Winter consort cellist Eugene Friesen.
“A rich, highly romantic and pastoral record.”
– Cash Box Magazine
“An inspiring piece of music. If the love of one’s craft could be packaged, it would be wrapped up in ‘REUNION’.”
– Entertainment Magazine
1986 Windham Hill WD-1049
Features flutist Dave Valentin and bassist Mark Egan.
Scott Cossu/Islands: #1 JAZZ National Airplay.
– Radio & Records Magazine
“Inspired by extended travel, it presents a powerful collection of original solo and ensemble pieces with Cossu on piano, with New York’s finest musicians. Powerful, tasteful and may be one of the label’s best offerings.”
– The Argus Magazine
“Cossu expands his musical vocabulary with larger arrangements featuring horns, bass, and drums. The more impressionistic leanings of his previous releases are also expanded upon through the album’s fusion of blues, jazz, Latin, and classical elements. Islands features some major contemporary jazz names like flutist Dave Valentin, bassist Mark Egan, drummer Danny Gottlieb, and violinist Michal Urbaniak.”
– Linda Kohanov, All music Guide
1984 Windham Hill WD-1033
Produced by George Winston, featuring Alex de Grassi.
“Cossu weds ethnic diversity to his natural style of ethereal piano. His enticing polyrhythms are fit for ecstatic dancing. A sparkling record.”
– The Boston Globe
“Undoubtedly, Scott Cossu is one of the jazz luminaries of the future.”
– Billboard Magazine
1981 Windham Hill WD-1016
Features acoustic piano with harp, cello and vibes.
“He’s a first rate pianist with a big heart.”
– Billboard Magazine
“A pianist with a fine sense of craftmanship and composition, bringing forth pieces as lovingly assembled as high quality woodworking.”
– The Argus Magazine
1980 Windham Hill WD-0086
“It is no big surprise to find him in yet another bag: that of the straight-ahead jazz performer and composer. Spirals is an example of the Cossu influenced no doubt, by the Jazz Messengers and Horace Silver. Although the Silver and Blakey impressions are quite strong, Cossu the performer and composer is his own unique personality. While Cossu is still a fairly new name in the jazz world, he has much to value to contribute.”
– Frankie Nemko,
Down Beat Magazine