A Shape-Shifting Soundscape

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Friday April 20, 2018

From The Financial Times

Avishai Cohen Quartet, Ronnie Scott’s, London ‘” a shape-shifting soundscape

The muted balladry, pirouetting lines and pithy rhythmic stabs of the Miles Davis aesthetic are cornerstones of contemporary jazz trumpet, from crossover fusion to the avant-garde. Avishai Cohen delivers each element in full with a muscular edge and pinpoint focus that set him apart. With rhythmic tweaks and quirks blended in, he is now a standout trumpeter in contemporary jazz with a strong personal voice.

This one-set performance located his mastery and control within a shape-shifting soundscape of multiple references. The repertoire, drawn from two recent ECM recordings, was played by the long-term acquaintances who featured on both CDs ‘” ‘brothers and friends’ was how Cohen put it two numbers in. The rhythm section handled the contrasting moods, sharp turns and short unison breaks without seeming to break sweat; with Cohen’s virtuosity merged into the band sound, the sense of a collective was strong.

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