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Avishai Cohen: Lyla

Avishai Cohen wears many hats on Lyla-bassist, pianist, composer, vocalist and producer-and it’s clear that this first release on his new Razdaz label comes as a labor of love. Perhaps more significant, the album encapsulates a host of influences and instrumentations, providing a panoramic snapshot of Cohen’s emerging oeuvre.

At the center of the action is the bassist’s International Vamp Band, a road-tested experiment in timbre and time. Opening with Cohen’s “Ascension,” the band unleashes bleating horn riffs and skittering electronics over a West African figure, leaving just enough room to accommodate earnest solos. On the title track, Cohen adds a pair of vocalists in octaves; coupled with his Fender Rhodes, it’s a sound quite evocative of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever.

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