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3 Cohens: Braid

Mark F. Turner By

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Jazz ensembles comprised of siblings are rare but not uncommon (The Heath Brothers—Jimmy and Percy, the well-known Marsalis brothers, and the Moutin twins—François and Louis). The 3 Cohens can be added to the list and show that it's a truly a family affair of musical harmony on their sophomore release Braid.

The 3 Cohens—sister Anat (clarinet/saxophone) and brothers Yuval (saxophone) and Avishai (trumpet)—have performed in various groups and locales from Tel Aviv to New York City. They're also proven leaders as heard on Anat Cohen & The Anzic Orchestra's, Noir (Anzic Records, 2007), and Avishai Cohen's After The Big Rain (Anzic, 2007).

Braid, their second release following 2005's independently released One, is even stronger, more stimulating and vibrant. This is due, in great part, to savvy compositions and the group symbiosis with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Omer Avital and drummer Eric Harland—all dynamic leaders in their own rights.

You can hear it starting with "Navad, with its upbeat Old and New world vibe. The deliciously fun "Freedom, written by eldest brother Yuval, is a biggish band swinger, horns singing with gusto and a fantastic solo by Harland, sounding as if three drummers are playing simultaneously.

Slower moments include "Beaches, featuring Anat's rich clarinet tones mixed with Yuval's soprano; then enhanced by Avishai's affecting trumpet mute and Goldberg's vivid piano comps. A contrast in style and mood includes the infectious dance-mantra of "U-Valley, with Jewish and Latin overtones, and the cinematic "Lies and Gossip, with Anat flexing her tenor muscles while Avital makes a bold statement on acoustic bass.

The trio pours out a musical libation to New Orleans on a spirited, three horn a cappella rendition of Jimmy Van Heusen's "It Could Happen To You. It sums up the overall tone of Braid as the 3 Cohens walk in harmony, each voice intertwined and strengthened by the other's strand.

Track Listing: Navad (The Wanderer); Gigi et Amelie; Freedom; Beaches; U-Valley; Lies and Gossip; It Could Happen to You; Elegy for Eliku; Tfila (Prayer); Shoutin' Low.

Personnel: Anat Cohen: tenor sax, clarinet (4); Avishai Cohen: trumpet; Yuval Cohen: soprano sax; Aaron Goldberg: piano; Omer Avital: bass; Eric Harland: drums.

Title: Braid | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Anzic Records

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