Bringing New Sound to the Bay

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Thursday March 14, 2019

From The Mercury News

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen brings new sound to Bay Area gigs
By: Andrew Gilbert

Avishai Cohen is no stranger to Bay Area audiences.

During his six-year run with the SJazz Collective (2009-2015), the Israeli-born trumpeter explored the music of Chick Corea, Joe Henderson and Stevie Wonder with the all-star ensemble, while contributing some of the more memorable original tunes to the octet’s ever-expanding repertoire.

But when Cohen returns next week for performances Sunday at San Jose’s Art Boutiki and Monday at Yoshi’s, he comes bearing a very different kind of sound. With the release of his first album on the German label ECM, 2016’s ‘Into the Silence,’ he seemed to pivot from the buoyant world-jazz grooves of the collective quartet Third World Love and the blue-flame, post-bop heat of his own bands. Instead, ‘Into the Silence’ offers a stark meditation on mortality, a searing response to the recent death of his father. On 2017’s follow up ‘Cross My Palm With Silver,’ his quartet ventures into a more spacious realm where jazz and classical music intersect, a crystalline space defined by the meticulous production and conspicuous reverb for which ECM is famous.

‘Whatever label I was going to record for, I would bring whatever was happening at that moment,’ said Cohen, 41, in a recent Skype conversation from the southwestern Indian state of Goa. ‘For my first album on a major label, I had all these great tunes I hadn’t recorded yet, and I didn’t want to do that. I try to see what the present brings, and it helps not judging what you write.’

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