All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

295

Avishai Cohen: At Home

By

Sign in to view read count
Israeli bassist/composer Avishai Cohen is perhaps best known for playing with Chick Corea, but he was never destined to be a sideman; his songwriting and arranging skills are too developed. On At Home—his first release since 2003's Lyla—Cohen demonstrates that his writing and arranging are as imaginative and wide-ranging as his bass playing is virtuosic.

He might be trying too hard to show all he can do, though. The album is divided between tracks featuring Cohen's trio with keyboardist Sam Barsh and drummer Mark Guiliana and a larger group that sometimes augments the trio and sometimes replaces it. The songs are all written and arranged by Cohen (except "Leh-Lah," cowritten with Guiliana, and "Renouf's Last Tooth," composed with Guiliana and Barsh). The music is uniformly well-played.

The quality of musicianship and Cohen's distinctive, melodic, thick-toned bass are the only uniform aspects to the CD, however. It's obvious that the bassist on the session is the leader: Cohen's simmering bass is always up front, prodding and pushing the group forward. He, Barsh, and Guiliana comprise an extremely tight band, whether they're displaying dime-stopping precision as a result of Cohen's arrangements, as on "Feediop," or simply showing a more natural connectedness, as on the looser "Saba." But Cohen puts the musicians into such diverse musical setttings that the album sounds at time like a mix tape made by a fan of great jazz bass playing.

Nothing wrong with most of the individual parts, though. "Madrid" has a beautiful arrangement built around a piano ostinato; here Cohen makes Anne Drummond's flutes and Diego Urcola's flugelhorn sound as lush and multicolored as a much larger band. "Leh-Lah" and "Gershon Beat" explore various folk-jazz genres and play with polyrhythms. "Remembering" and "No Words" are lovely, minimal trio ballads that are more platforms for Cohen's bass than vehicles for collective improvisation.

"Renouf's Last Tooth" is a trio number that begins with a flurry of bass notes that lead into a rapid-fire, complex, and busy piece that seems to intentionally mimic drum-n-bass electronica in a manner very reminiscent of the Bad Plus, who did the same when they covered Aphex Twin's "Flim" on These Are the Vistas. Then the song shifts into a sideways groove that sounds even more like the Bad Plus. "Punk (DJN)," too, with its heavyhanded, three-way virtuosity, has a very Bad Plus sound to it.

"Saba" is an electric number—just good ol' fusion—with Barsh on crunching organ, Cohen on electric bass and Yosvany Terry on soprano sax. This quartet configuration is repeated on "Feediop," the album's finest number, which has Terry burning on soprano before the group effortlessly shifts into a calmer bridge with a fine Barsh piano solo.

Good music. Excellent writing and playing. Incoherent CD. Cohen seems more interested on At Home in showing all he can do—lest anyone get an incomplete impression of him—than creating a unified musical statement. That's his prerogative as an artist, and he's got more albums to make.

Note: Razdaz Records is distributed in the United States by Sunnyside Records.


Track Listing: 1. Feediop 2. Madrid 3. Leh-Lah 4. Remembering 5. Renouf's Last Tooth 6. Gershon Beat 7. No Words 8. Punk (DJN) 9. Meditteranean [sic] Sun 10. Saba 11. Toledo

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: acoustic & electric bass; Mark Guiliana: drums, percussion; Sam Barsh: piano, organ, Fender Rhodes, melodica; Yosvany Terry: saxophones, chekere; Anne Drummond: flutes; Diego Urcola: flugelhorn; Jeff Ballard: percussion; Tomer Tzur: hand drum

Title: At Home | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Razdaz Recordz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Seven Seas

Seven Seas

Avishai Cohen
Seven Seas

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
 

Progetto original

Abeat Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "e.s.t. live in london" CD/LP/Track Review e.s.t. live in london
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 5, 2018
Read "Fullmoon" CD/LP/Track Review Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Living Being II - Night Walker" CD/LP/Track Review Living Being II - Night Walker
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 13, 2018
Read "Sonic Creed" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Creed
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 5, 2018
Read "While We Still Have Bodies" CD/LP/Track Review While We Still Have Bodies
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 14, 2018