3 Cohens Braid Horns and Reeds

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Friday February 25, 2011

from Oregon Music News

Portland Jazz Festival 2011: The forward-sounding 3 Cohens will braid horns and reeds with familial intensity
By Angela Allen

The three 30-something Israeli-born Cohen siblings, all on horns, will charm Portland audiences 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Crystal Ballroom. The Afro-Semitic Experience, an eclectic sextet whose sound captures the music of the African and Jewish diaspora, will prime the stage.

As part of the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival 2011, themed ‘Bridges and Boundaries: Jewish and African Americans Playing Jazz,’ the 3 Cohens fit right in. They are part of an ultra-musical family whose chemistry works tunefully on and off stage.

Now with their second album ‘Braid’ (Anzic Records, 2007) following the first in 2003, the siblings are quick to listen and resolve sounds as they interweave their music.

‘We practiced together a lot as kids and we play together when we have time,’ said Anat Cohen, the middle ‘child,’ who is accomplished on the clarinet and tenor saxophone, and has a jones for latin music. ‘Music is the passion we share. It’s one of the highest forms of intimacy when you can play together.’

Trumpeter Avishai, whose alternately dreamy and snarly sound makes women faint at his shows in Greenwich Village’s Smalls Jazz Club, is the youngest of the three Cohens. Avishai directs or co-leads three other bands, including Triveni and Third World Love (another is in the making) and also plays with SF JAZZ Collective, in which he will wield his edgy trumpet in the evening at Portland’s Newmark Theatre.

The 3 Cohen’s sound, he says is ‘a blend of three horns that really know each other. We start to know where the music will go harmonically and vibe-wise. We know each other beyond that level. The nuances are more obvious. I can tell when Anat is happy or unhappy (with the music’s direction). We play with a lot of love. We really want each other to shine.’

Read the full article here