The Upshot: The Tel Aviv-born trumpeter’s latest is a superb example of how the right combination of artists can bring a vision to life.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Trumpeter Avishai Cohen made his name with a pair of outfits: the family band 3 Cohens Sextet and the aggressively improvisational trio Triveni. For his latest solo album, however, he moves into a more contemplative, even melancholy mood. Into the Silence pays tribute to the Tel Aviv-born/NYC-based composer’s late father, who had always wanted to be a musician himself but couldn’t, instead passing his love on to his children.
Favoring muted tones and moderate tempos, Cohen moves with a deliberate touch, as if every note was carefully considered and conveys just the right emotional weight. Pianist Yonathan Avishai, Cohen’s longtime partner in crime, provides sympathetic support and engaging counter melodies, joining his pal in weaving a tapestry of intertwined lines. Cohen’s Triveni bandmate Nasheet Waits and Branford Marsalis Quartet bassist Eric Revin keep the rhythms percolating no matter what the tempo; Waits in particular shows a sensitivity that comes from a deep understanding of how to support the leader. Guest saxophonist Bill McHenry adds creamy solos from time to time.
The band’s obvious chemistry gives Cohen’s compositions the simpatico touch they need, from the melancholy “Life and Death” to the celebratory “Dream Like a Child” to the elegiac “Behind the Broken Glass.” The near-perfect balance of heart and craft on display here is even more remarkable for the fact that this combination of players worked together for the first time on this record. Into the Silence is a superb example of how the right combination of artists can bring a vision to life.
DOWNLOAD: “Dream Like a Child,” “Behind the Broken Glass,” “Life and Death”