Avishai Cohen – Colors

Avishai Cohen
(Stretch – 2000)
by Matthew Robinson

Avishai Cohen – Colors (Stretch/Concord) After stretching his slender horse-hair canvas over a large, arcing wooden frame, Avishai Cohen is often content to step back and let the pigments do their own dance. While drummer Jeff Ballard splashes on cymbal-ine tones, the hued horns of the young and adventurous Jimmy Greene, Jazz Messenger Steve Davis and new-old band mate Avi Lebovich blend earthy and ethereal themes across the musical landscape.

From the opening background four-string struts of “Shuffle” to the spare shades of “Emotions,” the soulful washes of “Shay Ke” and the deep tribal whispers of “De Ye Tan Di” (all of which feature the bright vocal tints of Claudia Acuña), composer Cohen offers a crayon box-full of visual connotations. Amos Hoffman’s oud work on “Balkan” gives this far away piece an authentic nearness. Though the painter’s hand is not always obvious in the art itself, the influence of the young bass master is evident.

© 2001 M. S. Robinson, ARR