Avishai Cohen's Triveni: Dark Nights

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Friday October 24, 2014

From Downbeat Magazine

Avishai Cohen’s Triveni: Dark Nights
By: John Corbett

This is a honey of a record. It’s got everything you could want from a devastating young band: complete command, interaction dynamics, a sense of play and adventure, and a wonderfully surprising track list. Add to it Avishai Cohen’s penetrating voice on trumpet, and you need nothing more. It’s a complete package.

The third outing from Cohen’s Triveni, Dark Nights has one feature that might normally put me off. On several cuts, post facto, he added an extra track of electronics-saturated trumpet, which sounds for all the world like a guitar. It works like a charm, adding an evil layer to the softer, darker trumpet. On “Betray,” Avishai’s clarinetist sister Anat joins him, the combination of searing clarinet, trumpet and phased-out treatment slashing through the leader’s grinding theme, which recalls Julius Hemphill’s classic “Hard Blues.”

The band’s cover of Frank Foster’s “Shiny Stockings” gets a nice, open-ended reading, with lots of sexy stopping and slurring; a version of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” is tender and bittersweet, Cohen’s phrasing a thrill a second. The electronics-less pieces are spacious and transparent, drummer Nasheet Waits playing so laid-back and ultra-understated that it aches. He and bassist Omer Avital round the isosceles triangle perfectly – complete egalitarianism and trust. They swing loosely on the appropriately free-bopping “The OC,” for Ornette Coleman, and kick back on the chilled-out funk of “Old Soul,” with Anat adding bluesy wait. The haunting finale invites singer Keren Ann, sans rhythm, with Gerald Clayton on piano, playing a breathy version of “I Fall In Love Too Easily,” Cohen emotive with harmon mute, tip of the cap to Chet Baker.

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