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Celebrating Iconic Women - Pérez, Cohen, Potter

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Monday October 29, 2018

From The New York City Jazz Record

“We are here tonight celebrating the work of iconic women,” pianist Danilo Pérez announced to the sold-out house at Jazz Standard (Oct. 11th), introducing a thematic element to the compelling music that the collective quintet with saxophonist Chris Potter, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Nate Smith would play that evening. Opening with his own “Alternate Reality”, dedicated to author/activist Angela Davis, Pérez began with a solo prelude that exhibited a striking originality, which, while rooted in tradition, swung on its own terms. The piece was propelled by the sprawling rhythms of Grenadier and Smith and powerfully elevated by the impassioned blowing of Potter and Cohen, each player feeding off the forward-moving improvising of the band to craft a narrative contour. Potter ’s “Lament For Jo Jo”, inspired by a character from the Jesmyn Ward novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, melancholic in tone, continued the distinctively imaginative mood of the music. Plucked piano and bass strings lent an exotic flavor to “Innovation Africa”, Cohen’s homage to movement founder Sivan Ya’ari, trumpet and tenor blowing with harmonious dissonance over a gamboling beat. Two more by Pérez, “And Still I Rise” and “Beloved”, the former a rhythmic dedication to poet Maya Angelou, the latter pensively fêting author Toni Morrison, closed the set. Calls for an encore brought the band back for Cohen’s reading of Israeli poet Zelda’s “Departure”. (RM)

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