Avishai Cohen: Devotion

Avishai Cohen delivers strong evidence here of his strengths as a leader, complementing his proven merits as sideman. His conception of time is very much his own, but part of the New York sense that inflects Bill Stewart’s and Tim Hagan’s work. Cohen distinguishes his work by draping that flexible pulse in long melodic lines whose twists and turns reveal many a harmonic delight-and the influences of his Middle Eastern heritage. The ensemble the Israeli-born bassist has chosen for his encore release includes Jason Lindner on piano, Jimmy Greene on saxes and flute, Steve Davis on trombone, Amos Hoffman on guitar and oud, and Jeff Ballard on drums and percussion; a string quartet appears on one track. His own contributions span not only bass and bass guitar, but keyboards and percussion as well-though his skills as a bassist, which include impeccable time and intonation, take a backseat here to his overall concept. His “Ot Kain” is a signature piece, heralding great things.