Avishai Cohen dreamed big, with images of symphony orchestras dancing in his head. The Israeli-born bassist maneuvered that dream into a reality with Two Roses, a recording that finds Cohen in the company of the ninety-two piece Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, in addition to his jazz cohorts, Azerbaijani pianist Elchin Shirinov and New Jersey born and bred drummer Mark Guiliana.
Eleven of the tunes presented here, in this lush landscape, come from Cohen's pen. The title piece is a popular tune from Cohen's homeland. "A Child Is Born" comes from the Thad Jones Songbook, and "Nature Boy" is the familiar Eben Ahbez tune, recorded by everyone from Miles Davis to Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, John Coltrane, Zoot Sims and many more.
The majestic, sweeping scope of this music suggests Cohen as a nominee for the "Aaron Copland of World" Music Award, as the bassist brings to the table influences which span the globeAfro-Caribbean music, melodies of Israeli folklore, Middle Eastern motifs, North African tinges and hints of Slavic and Russian shadings, all intertwined to create its own unique multicultural listening experience.
With a beautiful and implacable grandeur in the embrace of a collective momentum of eighty-plus playersincluding Cohen's occasional "every man of the world" vocals (he sounds like a nondenominational priest singing some kind of jazz Mass)the music could serve as a soundtrack to a grand epic of Cecil B. DeMille proportions, the orchestra at times delicate and fragile, at others powerful and momentous, and always profound.
Almah Sleeping; When I'm Falling; Nature Talking; Song For My Brother; Emotional Storm; Two roses (Shei
Shoshanim); Nature Boy; A Child Is Born; Puncha Puncha; Morenika; Seven Seas; Arab Medley; Overture
'Noam', Op. 1; Alon Basela.