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 Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Blue Canvas" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Canvas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "The Julian Hartwell Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Julian Hartwell Project
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 18, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere" CD/LP/Track Review Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!