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Avishai Cohen: Devotion

Jim Santella By

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Avishai Cohen's modern mainstream sextet performs in a hard bop tradition while encompassing ethnic influences from all over the world. In Cohen's compositions you can pick out modes, rhythms, and themes that feel as though they represent cultures from eastern Asia, northern Africa, central Europe, South America, southwestern Asia, the U.S. and more. The 28-year-old Jerusalem native, who wrote all but two pieces for Devotion, has spent his adult years learning the trade while working for two years with Danilo Perez and over a year with Chick Corea. There's a biography, photos, and more at http://www.jazzcorner.com/cohen/ .

The sextet format allows for ample solo time from each member. Steve Davis and Jimmy Greene, as the horn section, stay together in unison quite a bit. Pianist Jason Lindner wrote "Candela City," an exciting Latin jazz piece which is performed by the piano trio. The traditional folk melody "Linda de Mi Corazon" is performed as a duet by vocalist Claudia Acuna and arco bassist Cohen. The leader sits down at the piano for "Angels of Peace," a lovely trio that includes trombonist Davis and flutist Greene. The session has a variety that blends mainstream jazz with influences from the world over. Recommended.

Title: Devotion | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Stretch Records

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