Live Review: Anat Cohen Quartet with Avishai Cohen

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Tuesday October 30, 2012


Anat and Avishai Cohen at the Wolf Theatre, Denver (October 27, 2012)
By: Thomas Cunniffe

It is a rare treat for us in the hinterlands to hear live authentic jazz from Brooklyn. There are several progressive sub-genres developing inthat New York borough, and the Cohen family—clarinetist Anat, trumpeter Avishai and saxophonist Yuval—are at the forefront of those ideas. Anat last played the Denver Jewish Community Center’s Wolf Theatre in the fall of 2009, presenting a brilliant quartet set. Her long-awaited return trip was originally announced as a concert by the Three Cohens (which is the hippest family band you’ll ever hear). Apparently, Yuval was unable to come to Denver, so the concert was advertised as the Anat Cohen Quartet with Avishai Cohen as special guest. The Cohens are all well-versed in jazz history, with some of Anat’s exposure coming from gigs in traditional jazz bands (as an example, listen to her convincing Dixie clarinet on Wycliffe Gordon’s Louis Armstrong tribute album, ‘Hello Pops!’). Half of Cohen’s Denver concert program was from the classic repertoire and the rest were original progressive jazz compositions. However, the opposing styles coexisted throughout the concert. Avishai’s solo on his deeply funky original ‘October 25’ contained a brief quote from Dexter Gordon’s blues ‘Society Red’, and Anat’s opening rendition of Artie Shaw’s theme ‘Nightmare’ included a harmonically adventurous solo guaranteed to bring more nocturnal hallucinations that its composer ever imagined.

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