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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen - Trumpet: Dark Nights

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From the brooding opening title track to the closing Chet Baker homage, “I Fall in Love Too Easily," Dark Nights unapologetically embraces the heart of jazz. Every aspect of the album--from the cover photo, to Cohen's precise trumpet inflections, to the trio's dedication to immediacy and collective improvisation (and even the album's forays into electronic affects)--is saturated with the emblematic textures, rhythms, and imagery of jazz. This is achieved with professionalism, creativity, and skill, without a wit of irony or cliché, while avoiding both navel-gazing insularity and crowd-pleasing revivalism. Instead, the album's ten tracks wander the shadowed corridors ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Avishai Cohen: Family Bonds and Music from the Heart

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Avishai Cohen is a talented trumpeter, composer, band leader, co-leader and active sideman featured on over 50 records to date. Voted a Rising Star in the 2012 DownBeat Critics Poll, Cohen is also a musician with an individual sound, combining the best of traditional jazz with a modern compositional style. As a player, he demonstrates flexibility, soulfulness, sensitivity and extravaganza. Cohen has performed music since the age of 10, gaining experience with jazz, rock and pop groups while growing up in Tel Aviv. He later moved to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Almah

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After a dozen albums as leader and a career that has seen him perform with Chick Corea, Mark Guiliana and Alicia Keys, Almah finds bassist Avishai Cohen returning to his first loves. Those “first loves," according to the press notes, are classical music and, more particularly, chamber music. Almah is a return to these loves, but with a healthy dose of Middle Eastern inspiration and at least one certified jazz standard (Thad Jones' “A Child Is Born," which receives a graceful and mellow interpretation here). Although the credits state “All songs written and composed by Avishai Cohen" the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen - Trumpet: Triveni II

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Trumpeter Avishai Cohen had already reached the upper echelons of the jazz world when he put Triveni into motion, but this trio's debut--Introducing Triveni (Anzic Records, 2010)--still managed to mark a quantum leap in his artistry. The Israeli-born horn man first made stateside ripples when he placed third in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition in 1997 and those ripples turned to waves as he became an established presence on the scene. A string of albums in his own name, work with his equally sublime siblings in the 3 Cohens, and a slew of sideman dates helped him climb the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Duende

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Avishai Cohen is a distinctive player: his raw energy, deft and fluid fretting style and tough, forceful right hand combine in one of the most readily recognizable double bass sounds in contemporary music. He's brought this sound to collaborations with many leading musicians including pianists Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau, and drummer Mark Guiliana, and has produced a dozen albums as leader. Duende, Cohen's third album for Blue Note, is something of a new departure: a duo record with up-and-coming pianist Nitai Hershkovits. In current terms it's short at just under 34 minutes, but every tune--indeed, every note--counts.Cohen ...

INTERVIEWS

Avishai Cohen: Mystical Changes

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Israeli bassist and vocalist Avishai Cohen, together with pianist Omri Mor and drummer Amir Bresler, recently participated at Romania's Garana Jazz Festival with a two-hour act of electrifying musical virtuosity. Most of the songs the trio performed are featured on Cohen's recent release, Seven Seas (EMI, 2011). This interview took place before a show that would become memorable in the history of the festival, for the artists and audience alike. All About Jazz: You've been touring throughout Europe for quite some time now, playing almost every night. What makes each show different for you?AC: It is ...

INTERVIEWS

Avishai Cohen: Trumpet Trio Makes Strong Mark

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Avishai Cohen is a trumpeter of substantial talent, working hard on his craft and career, making strides that are tangible. The steps that he takes, the bands that he plays with, are impressive. There are a lot of good young trumpeters out there, and he's situated squarely in their lot. Early this year, he toured with the SFJAZZ Collective, a strong group of some of today's best musicians. But Cohen's more impressive recent mark on his résumé is his latest recording, a trio album, done without piano, that brings his strong playing to the forefront. It also puts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Seven Seas

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Over the past few years, bassist Avishai Cohen has become recognized as one of the most creative musicians of current times. A fertile composer of the highest rank, he has, among other things, enriched and expanded the genre he works in: a master of the upright bass, an improviser of not-so-often-seen genius, and a bandleader with a rich and kaleidoscopic history. Seven Seas is another exceptional chapter in the Cohen catalog, one that showcases a willingness to stretch itself to the breaking point and open up the music to a wider array of approaches. It is one ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Home Away From Home: Avishai Cohen in Paris

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Avishai CohenAlhambraParis, FranceNovember 26, 2009 Hypnotic. Mesmerizing. Religious. These three adjectives come to mind when reflecting on Avishai Cohen's concert at Alhambra in Paris, the last of a three-night engagement at the intimate venue close to Place de la République. A sorrowful piano/percussion duo--Shai Maestro's weeping piano accompanied by Itamar Doari's melodic percussion--set the stage for what was to be a celebration of not just the talents of the five musicians in Cohen's group, but also of music itself and its power to lift the spirits of those lucky enough to hear ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Flood

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Using accepted standards, what would be the correct instrumental configuration to recreate a disaster of, literally, Biblical proportions? A fairly sizeable orchestra--or, at minimum, a big band with a talent for the chaotic--would seem mandatory. Well, Avishai Cohen (who, among many things, holds down the trumpet chair in the immeasurably talented family band 3 Cohens) chose a different path for Flood. As a result, “Avishai the Trumpeter" has made much more memorable music.

Flood is the second disc in Cohen's Big Rain trilogy. Based on a poem Cohen wrote after Thailand was hit with a deadly tsunami, the trilogy imagines ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Flood

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In a suite of original compositions subtitled “Part Two of the Big Rain Trilogy," trumpeter Avishai Cohen's pure, sweet trumpet tone and bent notes allow him to create sound pictures that depict gentle raindrops, a giant deluge, the eventual overflow and final sunshine to complete the cycle. Since his songscape relies on personal expression, the instrumentation is limited to pianist Yonatan Avishai (a minimalist) and percussionist Daniel Freedman (a small instrument specialist). Hand drums, wood block and soft mallet drumming allow the trumpeter to place his ethereal trumpet voice out in front, while odd meters fix the trio on an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: Gently Disturbed

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With this release on his own Razdaz Recordz, Avishai Cohen firmly entrenches himself as a frontrunning innovator in the piano trio medium. The Israeli bassist is joined by Mark Guiliana on drums and countryman Shai Maestro on piano--the latter a change in personnel from Continuo (Razdaz, 2006) and Live At The Blue Note (Razdaz, 2007). “Seattle" represents a slightly ponderous start, with a lyrical bass solo from Cohen over meandering chordal piano vamps, but it is not more than a gentle prelude to what is coming up. The next track, “Chutzpan," gives a fuller insight into the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen Trio: Gently Disturbed

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Acclaimed Israeli bassist (and accomplished pianist) Avishai Cohen brings an impressive list of credits to his first outing with a new trio. Cohen's work defies easy categorization. On bass he's performed with Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea. The long list of musicians he has accompanied on piano includes Bobby McFerrin, Roy Hargrove, Paquito D'Rivera and Nnenna Freelon, which suggests something about his range. Further still, he has performed concert works with the London and Israeli Philharmonics. So what does the music of his newly reconfigured trio sound like? Featuring eight original compositions (written either by Cohen or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Avishai Cohen: As Is ... Live At The Blue Note

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As Is ... Live At The Blue Note is a CD and DVD document of a superb set. Bassist Avishai Cohen is a true virtuoso on both the electric and acoustic bass and, quite naturally, his compositions are extremely strong rhythmically. The band consists of his working trio, keyboardist Sam Barsh and drummer Mark Giulliana, to which saxophonist Jimmy Greene and trumpeter Diego Urcola have been added. That Barsh and Giulliana have been with Cohen awhile can be heard in the way they navigate his intricate rhythms and changing measure and phrase lengths. Jimmy Greene also knows ...



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