10

Avishai Cohen: Almah

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
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 exceptions to this rule are in the majority. Six tunes come from composers such as Jones, Moshe Vilensky and Nachum Hayman. Five tunes are Cohen's, including "Linearity," which combines with Vladimir Zakharov's "On A Black Horse."

The return to first loves means that Almah is much more of a classical music album than it is a jazz album. The instrumental line up puts the emphasis on strings, oboe and English horn. "Overture 'Noam' Op.1"—a floating, beautifully-paced, composition from Cohen—gives a strong hint just by its title. Yoram Lachish's oboe features strongly, while Cohen's decision to use two violas beefs up the string quartet's middle and lower registers.

The jazz breaks through—Cohen's electric bass on "On A Black Horse/Linearity" or his punchy pizzicato double bass on "Song For My Brother," the drumming of Ofri Nehemya, Nitai Hershkovits' sparkling piano solo on Hayman's "Kefel." It never overwhelms the classical influences however: but at its best this music combines its stylistic influences beautifully—most exquisitely on Cohen's "Hayo Hayta."

If the neat classification of music by genre is crucial, then Almah will prove to be an exercise in frustration. If the pleasure of listening to beautifully-crafted music, beautifully played, is paramount then Almah fits the bill.

Track Listing: Overture “Noam” Op.1; Song For My Brother; On A Black Horse/Linearity; A Child Is Born; Arab Medley; Southern Lullaby; Hayo Hayta; Shlosre; Kefel; Kumi Venetze Hasadeh.

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: double bass, electric bass, vocals (10); Nitai Hershkovits: piano; Ofri Nehemya: drums; Cordelia Hagmann: violin; Amit Landau: viola; Noam Haimovitz Weinschel: viola; Yael Shapira: cello; Yoram Lachish: oboe, English horn; Amir Bresler: drums (10); Keren Tannenbaum: violin (10); Galia Hai: viola (10).

Title: Almah | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Parlophone

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Seven Seas

Seven Seas

Avishai Cohen
Seven Seas

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Arvoles

Arvoles

Razdaz Recordz
2019

buy
Into the Silence

Into the Silence

ECM Records
2016

buy
Almah

Almah

Parlophone
2014

buy
 

Songs and Portraits

Anzic Records
2012

buy
 

Triveni II

Anzic Records
2012

buy
Duende

Duende

Blue Note Records
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug1Thu
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug1Thu
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug2Fri
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug2Fri
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug3Sat
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug3Sat
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Aug4Sun
Avishai Cohen Trio
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00

Related Articles

Read Phoenix Rising Album Reviews
Phoenix Rising
By Jack Bowers
June 24, 2019
Read Last Works Album Reviews
Last Works
By Doug Hall
June 24, 2019
Read The Change Album Reviews
The Change
By Roger Farbey
June 24, 2019
Read City Night Album Reviews
City Night
By Doug Collette
June 24, 2019
Read Waves Album Reviews
Waves
By John Eyles
June 23, 2019
Read Elevate Album Reviews
Elevate
By Doug Collette
June 23, 2019
Read Connor Sings — Kenton Swings Album Reviews
Connor Sings — Kenton Swings
By Jack Bowers
June 23, 2019