Tender and Feisty

Window to the Wise (boxobeanies)
Jill Cohn

By David Lilly

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 (sometimes passion) and sincerity. Window to the Wise is her fifth CD, and while it is the first of hers I've heard, it is a beauty. At first I thought her producer (and multi-instrumentalist contributor to this record) might also be in the furniture business and then it dawned on me that there could maybe be more than one Ethan Allen.

Aside from having a lovely voice, Cohn (rhymes with "tone") plays guitar, keyboards and is a capable songwriter. I don't pretend to be a connoisseur 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 John 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 age-y. 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.

You could find far worse things to do than visit