Year: 2006

Duration: 8’

Personnel: Saxophone Quartet (SATB)

Commissioned by SaxShades.
Premiered 14 July 2007
Ashville College, Memorial Hall Harrowgate (UK)
Performed by SaxShades


“Riverwalk, an SATB piece written for the British SaxShades quartet, is a single-movement jazz piece in swing style.  The use of the word “swing” pertains not only to the swing-eighths time feel, but also to the pervasive cooking, swing band style.  An extended pedal point introduction gives way to a theme that is a based around west coast-style cycle of fifths changes.  Pyramid figures build into a series of duos and trios, propelled by two-and-four handclaps from the nonplaying members, building to some almost Dixieland-sounding counterpoint, climaxing in a “free jazz solo” for the tenor (yes, this solo is free of any chord changes, but it works best to develop the piece’s motivic ideas) and a big band ending.”
— David Demsey, Saxophone Journal
“One of the highlights of the evening was the world premier performance of Steve Cohen’s Riverwalk. Steve is well known in the saxophone community, having arranged several other quartets for saxophone. This new piece was written to evoke a happy, carefree time and place along the promenade in New Orleans before the aftermath and chaos of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Starting with a funky riff on the baritone, the piece builds as the tenor, alto and soprano saxes join in. A sombre and moving solo by Sarah Jobson on the tenor saxophone dominated the middle section of the piece, before building again for a fast and solid finale.”
— Sasha Heriot, Harrogate Advertiser, 24 July 2007
“...a helping of swinging jazz was just about the last thing I expected.  Yet that’s what Steven Cohen gave us with the closing piece, Riverwalk.  {…} What a marvelous surprise!  Saxophonists Wonki Lee (soprano), Chung Bao (alto), Scott Litroff (tenor) and Josh Lang (baritone) really got into the act.  Here was bright and bopping banter, the players tossing around lines like friends in a pick-up ballgame.  The atmosphere filled with a playful glee which no one resisted.  Mr. Cohen even had the players snapping their fingers in the middle of the piece, and taking some impressive solos.”
— David Mecionis, SoundWordSight, 30 May 2016 


Recording available from REVERB NATION.