Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

151

Anat Cohen: Place & Time

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen has been building a solid reputation as a richly-toned and capable improviser, as well as a lyrical mainstream writer, on the New York scene since relocating there from her native Israel a few years back. Her collaborative effort with brothers Avishai (the trumpeter, not the bassist) and saxophonist Yuval appeared on last year's One (under the name 3 Cohens), demonstrating a strong intuitive sense, although the simpatico with her siblings is no surprise, given they've played together since childhood.

On Place & Time Anat steps out on her own, and with a rhythm section of pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Ben Street, and drummer Jeff Ballard—no strangers to each other—a certain chemistry was bound to be a given as well. Still, the interplay is subtle for the most part; and while everyone is clearly on the same page, the album lacks the remarkable telepathic connection of One, although the four tracks where Avishai guests heat up a bit more.

Cohen reflects a broad range of interests, ranging from the tango treatment of Maria Teresa Vera's Cuban melody on "Viente Aos" to the more open-ended and burning swing of Gerry Mulligan's "As Catch Can" and the easy-going melody of the Loesser/McHugh standard "Say It." On tenor, Cohen is a reflection of Ben Webster, with a big tone and an attention to a song's essence. On soprano her tone avoids the often nasal quality of the instrument, and on clarinet she's equally warm.

Her approachable writing is filled with appealing melodies, and while the playing of everyone involved keeps things honest, it sometimes borders on lightweight. Fine vehicles for mainstream improvisation, but one wonders how she'd be with a little more edge. Certainly her playing suggests the possibility that she'd fit just fine in more adventurous contexts. Not that there's anything wrong with a relaxed approach that gives proper attention to the thematic content of a tune, but while her own writing covers some territory within the narrower mainstream and reflects her own multicultural concerns, it doesn't really distinguish itself.

Place & Time is a pleasant enough listen, but one gets the feeling that this is only part of the picture, a belief bolstered further by listening to the 3 Cohens disc. Still, this is an early stage in Cohen's career, and there are plenty of indications that she has potential for further growth.


Track Listing: Place & Time; The 7th of March; Viente A

Personnel: Anat Cohen: tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Jason Lindner: piano; Ben Street: acoustic bass; Jeff Ballard: drums, percussion (2); Avishai Cohen: trumpet (4, 6, 7, 9).

Title: Place & Time | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Anzic Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Songs We Like" CD/LP/Track Review Songs We Like
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Morph" CD/LP/Track Review Morph
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor