Monday June 17, 2013
Three top clarinetists salute the master, Benny Goodman
By: Howard Reich
Each of the clarinetists approached this repertoire quite differently, and each illuminated a distinct facet of Goodman’s music. But Cohen surely came closest to evoking the sensuousness of Goodman’s sound, the propulsion of his rhythm and the soaring high spirits of his up-tempo playing.
From Cohen’s first notes in “After You’ve Gone,” it was clear that she understood the essence of Goodman’s clarinet work. The warmth, ripeness and roundness of her tone were pure Goodman, but so was her sense of phrasing and the cry at the center of her sound. A lamenting quality born of the Jewish klezmer tradition influenced Goodman, and Cohen has it inside her horn.
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