The 3 Cohens and "Braid" Featured on NPR


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One family--one music. The remarkable story of 3 Cohens, Yuval (the older brother), Anat (the middle sister) and Avishai (the youngest sibling), continues with the November 20, 2007 release of their new recording, Braid (Anzic Records). It is obvious that the Cohens would have some sort of telepathy and symbiosis on the bandstand and in the studio, but the level of interplay and musical cooperation that exists between the siblings on Braid can only be described as astounding. Their individual virtuosity, creativity and exceptional taste only serve to enhance the music that primarily stems from their mutual respect and love for one another, as family, and as musicians. Trumpeter Avishai Cohen explains the title of the new recording, “the name Braid is a metaphor for the way the three of us play together. On this record, and in general, we have a way of improvising together or accompanying each other in which we 'braid' our melodies. Weaving the air with each other . . . made us think of Braid."

Joining Yuval, Anat and Avishai on Braid is a trio of unparalleled musicians, Aaron Goldberg on piano, Omer Avital on bass and Eric Harland on drums. “These are simply some of the best musicians around today. We were also looking for a rhythm section that has been working together as a unit, and not just great individuals," said Anat.

Braid is dedicated to the Cohens' beloved Uncle Eliku who passed away several years ago, and he is eulogized and remembered with the beautiful ballad, “Elegy for Eliku." “The dark melody, and the dark harmonies, try to express this endless sorrow. The three lines, that pile one on top of the other, are meant to increase the tension, and to express those sad feelings that the three of us share," said Yuval. The album opens on an upbeat note, however, with “Navad" (The Wanderer), a rhythmically and melodically powerful statement that finds the 3 Cohens trading solos and then blowing simultaneously over a percolating 6/8 groove in remarkable fashion, telling a “little Middle Eastern story of a wanderer, walking along with his camel in the desert, till they find a little pond, where the music changes to something more tranquil and relaxed then the wild 6/8 African beat that came before," explains Yuval. This is followed by an Avishai composition, “Gigi et Amelie," “a tune dedicated to two little friends in France." This track will also be featured on the upcoming CD release from Avishai's band Third World Love (to be released by Anzic Records). The Yuval Cohen tune “Freedom" (originally featured on his CD release of the same name) is rendered here as an up tempo, high octane vehicle for blistering solos from Avishai, Yuval, pianist Aaron Goldberg, and a declamatory solo from drummer Eric Harland. Yuval comments on the meaning of his composition, “the melody tries to reflect freedom, the freedom of a bird flying fearlessly in the sky with the ability to go up and down in an instant. The 3 of us playing together, and being able to do so, is to me a high feeling of freedom."

Other highlights on Braid include “U-Valley," composed by Anat and dedicated to Yuval. Legendary composer Jimmy Van Heusen's “It Could Happen To You" is presented here a cappella and is a thoroughly enjoyable rendition on which one can hear the 3 Cohens' horns “braided" in an amazing display of polyphony. The album closes with the Anat composition “Tfila" (Hebrew for prayer) and Avishai's “Shouting Low" (based on “Groovin' High"), the trumpeter's nod of respect to Dizzy Gillespie.

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