October Recommendations (Part 1)

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Sunday October 12, 2014

From Sept Tempest

October Recommendations (Part 1)
By: Richard B. Kamins

“Dark Nights” is the 3rd recording by Avisahi Cohen’s Triveni, the trumpeter’s trio with bassist Omer Avital and drummer Nasheet Waits. The ensemble’s first 2 CDs were recorded on the same day but released 18 months apart. Since that time, Cohen has toured with his sister Anat and brother Yuval in the 3 Cohens plus spent several seasons with the SF Jazz Collective and is now a member of Mark Turner’s Quartet. His trumpet work has continued to develop to the point where his tone and ideas stand out among his contemporaries.

The new CD includes more of the great Trio interplay – the rhythm section’s work is impeccable, supportive and creative. The first sounds one hears on the opening track “Dark Nights, Darker Days” (one of 6 Cohen originals) is the forceful drums and thrumming bass. For this recording, Cohen uses electronic effects on several cuts, added spontaneously right after the completed take. There are moments on this track (and others) where the effects sound guitar-like, especially the Jimi Hendrix-like “wah-wahs”. The effects return on “Betray”, the first of 2 appearances of sister Anat on clarinet. This bluesy track allows everyone to get “down-and-dirty”, with a melody and mood similar to that of John Lennon’s “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” Gerald Clayton makes the group a quintet on “Old Soul”, another atmospheric ballad where the clarinet and trumpet now interact with Clayton’s electric piano work. The pianist sticks around, on acoustic piano this time, to support the trumpeter and guest vocalist Keren Ann on the closing track, “I Fall In Love Too Easily” – the rippling piano lines, the muted trumpet, and the gentle, limpid, vocal make for a gentle experience.

Elsewhere, the trio gives adventurous readings to “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and “Lush Life”, the latter having a “free” feel at times while the former rises and falls on the forceful bass work of Avital and the glorious brush work of Waits. Cohen and company have fun with Frank Foster’s “Shiny Stockings”, a piece that the trumpeter first played as a young man in Israel in a big band setting. This track plus the Cohen originals “The OC” (dedicated to Ornette Coleman) and “Pablo” are the most playful tunes on the program; the lighter feel (still played with great energy) of these cuts serve as pleasing counterpoint to the blues and darker moods of the other tracks.

“Dark Nights”, recorded in one room with no separation of the musicians, is yet another powerful entry in Avishai Cohen’s growing discography. With his longtime partner Omer Avital (they worked together many years in Third World Love and on several of the bassist’s solo projects) and new-found accomplice Nasheet Waits, the trumpeter makes music that reverberates in one’s heart and soul, making the listener return many times to the deep, soulful, experience.

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