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Avishai Cohen/Yonathan Avishai: Playing the Room (ECM)

In the 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll, Avishai Cohen did not make the top 20 on his instrument. Yet very few living trumpet players have made as many excellent records as Cohen. Playing the Room strips a Cohen ensemble to the minimum, a duo, which provides maximum focus on his specific creative resources. They begin with … Read More “Avishai Cohen/Yonathan Avishai: Playing the Room (ECM)”

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Avishai Cohen: Arvoles (Razdaz)

Arvoles—it means “trees” in the ancient Ladino language—is something of a reining in after the expansive 1970, Cohen’s previous release. That one, released in 2017, commemorated the year of the bassist’s birth with a vocal-centric program that veered from Latin to pop to a Beatles cover. This time, Cohen largely scales back to the standard … Read More “Avishai Cohen: Arvoles (Razdaz)”

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Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.

How to play a chord that feels like Toni Morrison writing, “I didn’t fall in love with you, I rose in it”? How to play a melody with that feeling? These are the kinds of questions that Danilo Pérez, Avishai Cohen, and Chris Potter were mulling over in the leadup to the debut performance of … Read More “Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.”

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Avishai Cohen: Cross My Palm With Silver (ECM)

It’s inevitably tempting to link Cross My Palm With Silver to the first album from Israeli trumpeter Avishai Cohen for ECM, last year’s Into the Silence. Guest saxophonist Bill McHenry is absent, and Cohen’s longtime friend Barak Mori replaces bassist Eric Revis in the core quartet. But the iconic production of Manfred Eicher’s label again … Read More “Avishai Cohen: Cross My Palm With Silver (ECM)”

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Avishai Cohen’s Triveni: Dark Nights

For the third Triveni album, trumpeter Avishai Cohen departs from the norm by adding electronic overdubs and/or guest artists on four of the 10 songs. He also promotes concentrated spontaneity by presenting the material to his triomates Omer Avital (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) with no prior touring, no rehearsal and a two-take limit to … Read More “Avishai Cohen’s Triveni: Dark Nights”

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Avishai Cohen: Duende

Duende is a brief (34 minutes) but lovely collection of straightahead duets for piano and bass. One might expect the former instrument to dominate that setting, but it’s no accident that bassist Avishai Cohen gets main billing while pianist Nitai Hershkovits gets a sub-credit. Cohen completely dominates the album (released internationally in 2012 and in … Read More “Avishai Cohen: Duende”

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Avishai Cohen: Triveni II

Most of trumpeter Avishai Cohen’s recorded output has subsumed his trumpet voice within the broader ensemble purposes of composition, multicultural interface and concept albums. Triveni II, his sixth release as a leader, lets him cut loose and blow. The stark trio format (Omer Avital on bass, Nasheet Waits on drums) puts Cohen alone out front. … Read More “Avishai Cohen: Triveni II”

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