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.
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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