368

Anat Cohen: Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard

Thomas Conrad By

Sign in to view read count
Anat Cohen: Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard Anat Cohen is one of the major jazz success stories of the last decade. She arrived in New York from Israel in 1996 and, by the turn of the century, was an important factor in the reemergence of the clarinet as a solo jazz instrument. Yet her recordings have not captured the bacchanalian riot of Cohen in person, whirling on the stage, curls flying, unleashing clarinet notes in formally elegant torrents.

Clarinetwork comes closer, in part because it is her first live album. While Cohen's music until now has been immersed in Israeli, Middle Eastern, classical, Brazilian choro and AfroCuban sources, Clarinetwork is an American history project. On this night at the Village Vanguard in July of 2009, she played eight tunes associated with Benny Goodman on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Clarinetwork is the 118th album recorded at the Village Vanguard. Engineers James Farber and Paul Zinman create a clear, vivid sonic portrait of a time and place.

Those who might think they don't need to hear "Sweet Georgia Brown" again would be wrong. Cohen slides over it quickly and lightly, then flies far away in a cascading, wheeling, ecstatic celebration. With "St. James Infirmary," there might also be the feeling of been there, done that. But Cohen starts by twisting sinuously below middle C, then shoots long high brilliant keenings and held notes of catharsis. When she employs theme-and-variation, like the 12-minute "St. Louis Blues" and the furiously fast "What A Little Moonlight Can Do," she smokes.

Clarinetwork is the album that finally displays the range of Cohen's resources as an improviser. She generates vast arrays of interrelated ideas and goes right to the edge. It creates excitement when a player with exquisite control is willing to risk losing it. Her extended solos (only two of the tunes are under eight minutes) blend wild exhilaration and finesse. The only quiet performance is "Body And Soul," the version uncharacteristically gentle and patient, with one trilling spin-off in the middle and a soft, passionate coda at the end. Pianist Benny Green, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash are energetic accompanists. Though they all get solo space, they do not contribute compelling content. They mark time until Cohen's return.


Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown; Lullaby Of The Leaves; Band Announcement; St. James Infirmary; After You've Gone; St. Louis Blues; Body And Soul; What A Little Moonlight Can Do.

Personnel: Anat Cohen: clarinet; Benny Green: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Anzic Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue" CD/LP/Track Review Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Ballast" CD/LP/Track Review Ballast
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" CD/LP/Track Review Rejoice! I'm Dead!
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!