345

Avishai Cohen: Lyla

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Avishai Cohen: Lyla Cross-pollination albums are difficult to produce, difficult to market, and most of all, difficult to make well. Lyla may very well succeed at all three.

Combining Latin sources and electronic dance grooves with sampling and textural elements, pop covers, solo piano, and traditional jazz methods, Avishai Cohen has without a doubt succeeded in creating a truly multi-genre album. Lyla not only presents music from diverse sources, but shows Cohen's willingness to blend and blur genre lines to establish a modern, heterogeneous phenomena. Unlike many similar undertakings, Cohen's music doesn't feel facile or cursory, and transplanted musical elements never seem to be misplaced, tagged-on, or the result of marketing ploys. In fact, even when results are flawed, each track resonates with an honest tone of genuine musical interest and knowledge. Ultimately, it is even difficult to discern which elements are transplanted and which native.

At its worst, Cohen's songwriting comes across as charmingly earnest, as with the indulgent pop tune 'Lyla.' At its best, Cohen displays a rare capacity for melodic depth and emotive articulation, as on the solo piano piece, 'Structure in Emotion' and the acoustic bass piano duet with Chick Corea, 'Eternal Child.' 'Structure in Emotion' may very well be the album's highlight, revealing both Cohen's connection with Corea and a mature sobriety which combines technical facility with a poignant control of color and form. This solo piece floats between the so-called classical piano style and jazz performance idioms, flowing back and forth across the dividing line so intuitively that the result proves a total integration.

The remaining tracks on the album explore a broad range of material, including a cover of Dr. Dre's 'The Watcher,' whose driving rhythm presents a simple, solid reference point that effectively balances the complexity of 'The Evolving Etude' and the softer 'Eternal Child.' Cohen also offers a frenetic cover of Lennon and McCartney's 'Come Together' on bass with drummer Mark Guiliana exploring the original's rhythmic draw alongide Cohen's improvisation. It would be a shame to reveal all of the album's musical and programmatic surprises, of which there are many. Listeners interested in experimentation and musical cross-breeding are bound to enjoy the sheer challenge of Cohen's endeavor and will mostly likely find individual tunes of great worth. Cohen's compositional and instrumental skills have already been well proven, and with Lyla Cohen declares himself an artist willing to reach beyond both the market's safety zone ' and his own.

Track Listing: 1. Ascension 2. Lyla 3. How Long 4. The Watcher 5. The Evolving Etude 6. Structure in Emotion 7. Handsonit 8. Come Together 9. How Long 10. Eternal Child 11. Simple Melody

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: Piano, electric bass, acoustic bass, vocals; Diego Urcola: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Yosvany Terry:Alto Saxopohne, Chekere; Avi Lebovich: Trombone, Flute; Yagil Baras: Electric Bass; Eric McPherson: Drums; Mark Guiliana: Drums, electronics. Guest: Chick Corea: piano.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Razdaz Recordz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" CD/LP/Track Review MG50 Peace & Fire
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 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!