JazzTimes Reviews 3 Cohens at South Africa's Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival

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Wednesday October 07, 2015


Review: South Africa’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival
By Christopher Loudon

“Moving from the disappointing to the sublime, the Cohen clan-tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Anat, soprano saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai, teamed with pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.-shaped the tightest, smartest, most satisfying set of the entire festival. Highlights: a dark, sensuous slither through Ellington’s ‘The Mooch’; the becalmed majesty of Anat’s clarinet, roiled by a stormy Yuval solo on Fred Hersch’s ‘Song Without Words’; the siblings’ delightful union on the meandering ‘A Capella’; a trio of sparkling Yuval gems-his playful, frisky ‘Blues for Dandi’s Orange Bull Chasing an Orange Sack’ (for his young daughter, in attendance in the front row), wildly uplifting ‘Freedom’ and warm, gentle ‘Family’; and, to close, a bright, spirited ‘Tiger Rag.’ As charming and funny as they were dynamic, the Cohens were also the only festival act to make a point of meeting and greeting audience members after the performance, offering to sign CDs and pose for photos.”

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