Now one of the most popular jazz players of the past decade, Avishai Cohen takes his artistic approach to its zenith, with Seven Seas. Featuring nursery rhymes, lullabies and suites in which heroic inspiration and symphonics abound. Seven Seas plunges us into a fabulous sound voyage, in which understatement and magnitude play a never-ending game of ping-pong, a trip that easily transposes to the silver screen. Once you get past the opening credits dripping in joyful nostalgia, you steer past isles of rhythm and continents of sound, winding up with a traditional piano ladino with Cohen's intense vocals. Cohen has reached a new pinnacle as an artist. It's more of a fusion album, perhaps bringing us closer to reality of an odyssey, with its title that transports us into nautical legend: seven seas' many twists and turns make it the most exciting of albums in Cohen's discography.
Bassist Avishai Cohen, best known at this point for his work with Chick Corea, on his own projects mixes together adventurous jazz with influences from world music, original folk melodies, and his own creativity. He composed 12 selections on his second CD, including tributes to Horace Silver and Chick Corea (which do not really sound that close to either of those pianist/composer's styles). The music is consistently unpredictable, with Cohen being joined by pianist Jason Lindner, drummer Jeff Ballard, Jimmy Greene on reeds, trombonist Steve Davis, guitarist Amos Hoffman, a string quartet, and up to five singers (who are mostly used in the background). An intriguing set by an up-and-coming composer who is also a very fluent bassist.
Avishai Cohen contributed all ten selections to Continuo, originals that are often influenced by Middle Eastern music. Cohen's bass dominates throughout, easily taking the most solo space. His trio with pianist Sam Barsh and drummer Mark Guilliana is tight, often being joined by Amos Hoffman on oud. The music is atmospheric, sometimes introspective, touched strongly by Western classical music and spontaneous in spots.
Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues.
From the brooding opening title track to the closing Chet Baker homage, "I Fall in Love Too Easily," Dark Nights unapologetically embraces the heart of jazz. Every aspect of the album—from the cover photo, to Cohen's precise trumpet inflections, to the trio's dedication to immediacy and collective improvisation (and even the album's forays into electronic affects)—is saturated with the emblematic textures, rhythms, and imagery of jazz. This is achieved with professionalism, creativity, and skill, without a wit of irony or cliche, while avoiding both navel-gazing insularity and crowd-pleasing revivalism.
Avishai Cohen, who became well known in the jazz world during his period with Chick Corea, is one of the top bassists in the world. His virtuosity and constant creativity in both a modern mainstream format and on funkier grooves seem effortless. As Is…Live at the Blue Note contains a CD (the first seven selections) and a DVD. "Smash," "Feediop," the ballad "Remembering" and an overlong "Caravan" (the one non-original) are featured in both formats while three songs are different.
From Darkness sees the Israeli composer, bassist and singer go back to the very core of his musical idiom and activity, but with Avishai, what may seem as a return to the basics always brings the promise of a new beginning. From Darkness once again opens an essential gateway into a new creative and expressive dimension. “It is the first time since Gently Disturbed that I have the feeling I am reaching a new, fresh and incredibly substantial form with the trio.” A belief reinforced by two outstanding partners, pianist Nitai Hershkovits and drummer Daniel Dor.
"The first time I heard Nitai, it was in a little cafe in downtown Tel Aviv, Nico, in my neighbourhood." Avishai Cohen literally fell for Nitai Hershkovits : barely 20 and despite a cheapo keyboard the youngster reminded him of Chick Corea and Danilo Perez, two illustrious peers the double bass player had been lucky enough to play with."Nitai just swings naturally, with gentle authority; I've rarely seen that with other young pianists. He has something ancient within, a spirit that shines right through the way he tackles standards. You have to know your classics inside out, and love them, to tease the wonder out of them : no point just going over the same old ground, you have to do your own take, make them part of you. Nitai brings a fresh touch, reminding me of Brad Melhdau, without actually making any comparison. He has the same intent of making each song his own.