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Anat Cohen explode with intensity

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Saturday June 08, 2019

From The Washington Post

At the Hamilton, clarinetist Anat Cohen and her quartet explode with intensity
By: Michael J. West

“Memo to jazz producers and promoters across the world: If you want your jazz festival to be festive, have Anat Cohen open it.

The Tel Aviv-born, New York-based clarinetist played a set of contemporary jazz at the Hamilton on Friday night ‘” the opening night of 2019’s D.C. Jazz Festival ‘” that exploded with intensity. Her creative energy was relentless and infectious, prodding the other members of her quartet (keyboardist Gary Versace, bassist Tal Mashiach and drummer Anthony Pinciotti) to stunning heights.

It wasn’t without somber or quiet moments. It started, in fact, with a long, quiet moment. Cohen simply took the stage and stood smiling silently. The audience laughed uncertainly. But then came a long, unaccompanied clarinet line, so cartoonishly bouncy that it could have been a Looney Tunes cue. Instead it became her ‘Happy Song,’ which ironically tempered her bounce with a moody, enigmatic flow from the rhythm section. Cohen maintained her brio anyway, throwing out swooping, joyful lines and dancing in place on Versace’s blues-flavored piano solo.”

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