Avishai Cohen: Almah

Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 00:00



Avishai Cohen

Parlophone France/Warners


The combination of jazz trio and string quartet is hardly new, but its a union that can still have more than a whiff of gunpowder about it, as if the two elements have been railroaded into a temporary truce. Avishai Cohen’s foray into the format here has yielded more of a genuine love match. The Israeli bassist’s writing for the strings and oboe is an interesting blend of simplicity and emotional force, and there are moments of full-blooded excitement when Cohen and his jazz colleagues turn up the temperature. The compositions are laced through with Jewish and Arabic influences, but Cohen’s heartland is contemporary jazz; for all the extraneous references, Almah is a jazz record from one of the more thoughtful bandleaders on the current scene. avishaicohen.com