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Friday April 13, 2018

From KC Metropolis

Brazilian jazz in Lawrence
By: Jessie Riggins

Cohen took the stage with a simple, “Hi. Let’s play some music,” and the night was underway. The first number, the well-known “Cry Me a River,” was rich and soulful, and an animated Cohen was joyful to watch as she danced around the stage. […] Guitar player Alex Frank and bassist Murphy Smith were both given great solo space throughout the show, and their solid and sometimes emotional solos were by far the best of the night.

Cohen has had a long and productive partnership with Oded Lev-Ari, who arranges for Cohen. This childhood friendship has grown into some of Cohen and Lev-Ari’s most intricate charts, such as the fun medley that brought together a samba rhythm and a New Orleans Second Line flavor. This electrifying romp featured short solos around the ensemble, and built into both numbers juxtaposed one against the other before a big finish. Following this was the reserved ballad “Ima” (“mother” in Hebrew). This beautiful work let audience members revel in Cohen’s sound: the warm, rich lower register that she seems to favor the most, although her upper register sound is just as fulfilling to audience ears.

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