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Avishai Cohen: A Beautiful Melancholy

JT publisher Lee Mergner sits down with the Israeli trumpeter-composer

Photo of Avishai Cohen
Avishai Cohen (photo: Caterina Di Perri/ECM Records)

Early this year during the 2016 Jazz Cruise, JT publisher Lee Mergner sat down with the Israeli trumpeter-composer, 38, whose latest album and ECM debut, Into the Silence, is a meditative musical reconciliation of his father’s recent death. He’d just come from a long sojourn with his family to India, which served as a spiritual and creative retreat.

In a lengthy and freewheeling interview, Cohen talked about his journey from Israel to Berklee to NYC, and about his evolution as a trumpeter. Cohen was performing on the cruise with his talented siblings-clarinetist/saxophonist Anat and saxophonist Yuval-billed as the 3 Cohens and well received. The trumpeter, whose placid demeanor belies a great emotional sensitivity, demonstrated a wry sense of humor-a contemplative yin to sister Anat’s exuberant yang. Here are some highlights, edited for space and clarity.

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