May 23, 2024

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CD review: Frank Kohl – Solitude 2020: Video, CD cover

Frank Kohl has had a lifetime refining the art of jazz guitar. Born and raised in New York, Kohl began playing guitar at age eight. Initially drawn to the pop music of the day like the Beatles and then playing and learning from the rock and blues musicians of that period.

It was time for a change, and at age sixteen, Kohl discovered the music of Wes Montgomery and began his path into jazz guitar. Fortunately, Kohl’s high school had one of the nation’s top Jazz Big Bands, and he began playing and learning with them. During this time, Kohl had easy access to NYC and all the jazz clubs NY had to offer. One of the clubs Kohl frequented was Rapsins, which presented free-flowing cutting-edge jazz of the highest level. Players like guitarist Linc Chamberland, bassist Lynn Christie, and saxophonist Dave Liebman were regulars at Rapsins. Kohl eventually became a student of Linc’s and bandmate with Linn’s.

From 72’ – 76’ Kohl attended and graduated from Berklee College Of Music. At this time, Frank was exposed to fellow students like Pat Metheny and John Scofield and teachers like Gary Burton. After graduation, Frank headed back to NY and began performing regularly. In the mid-’80s, Kohl recorded his first album Reform with The Frank Kohl Quartet. The LP featured NY bassist Michael Moore. At the time, Michael was with pianist Bill Evans.

Kohl then packed up and headed west to California’s Bay Area. Always playing and staying musically active, Kohl landed a spot with Don McCaslin Senior’s band Warmth. He was with Don for seven years, and at the time, Don’s son Donny McCaslin, a young tenor player who was also on the bandstand.

In the early 90’s Kohl moved north to Seattle, where he lives with his wife and three daughters. Frank stays active in Seattle performing at many of the Northwest’s most prestigious jazz venues and festivals with many notable players. Kohl also spends time in New York and collaborates with his brother – pianist Tom Kohl and bassist Steve LaSpina. Kohl has headlined at such prominent NY clubs as Smalls, Mezzrow’s, Maureen’s Jazz Cellar, The Triad Theatre, and The Beanrunner.

To date, Kohl has six CDs as a leader to his credit. Three of his CDs include NY bassist Steve LaSpina, who has played and recorded with Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Marian McPartland, and countless others. Kohl’s last CD, The Crossing, featured LaSpina and guitarist John Stowell, an internationally recognized guitarist, clinician, and jazz innovator.

​Kohl’s latest offering, Solitude, is a lifelong goal of recording a solo guitar CD. Absorbing the solo guitar approaches of greats like Joe Pass, Martin Taylor, John Stowell, among others. Kohl has found his own voice in this challenging medium and pays reverence to the solo guitar idiom so cherished in the jazz canon.


1. Dreams in Color 4:07 (Frank Kohl)
2. I Got It Bad 4:15 (Duke Ellington)
3. Imagine This 3:16 (Frank Kohl)
4. Solitude 3:30 (Frank Kohl)
5. Alone Together 5:09 (Jerome Kern)
6. A Call For Peace 4:34 (Frank Kohl)
7. Fly Way 4:08 (Frank Kohl)
8. Still Missing You 3:24 (Frank Kohl)
9. City Lights 2:51 (Oscar Peterson)
10. In Your Arms 3:48 (Frank Kohl)
11. My Shining Hour 4:00 (Harold Arlen)
12. Wide Open 3:23 (Frank Kohl)
13. Once I Loved 4:06 (AC Jobim)

Players & Instruments:
Frank Kohl: guitar

Frank Kohl - Solitude

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