Friday, June 29, 2007

Avishai Cohen - After the Big Rain (Anzic, 2007)

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen is part of a large musical family (including the incredibly cute Anat). On this mix of improvised jazz and world music, he is joined by Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals, Jason Lindner on keyboards, Omer Avital on bass, Daniel Freedman on drums and percussion and Yosvany Terry on cherekere. The music on this disc seeks an ambitious fusion of electronic jazz and the music of Africa and the Middle East. Highlights of the disc include "Parto Forte" which has Cohen improvising on open unamplified trumpet over a cool sounding world beat groove. Loueke's guitar provides some wonderful flavor throughout the album but particularly on this disc. "African Daisy (La Suite African)" also has strong trumpet playing over a slinky bed of electric piano. The remainder of the disc finds Cohen experimenting with electronically amplified or distorted trumpet, with varying degrees of success. "Afterthoughts (Mozartine)" "Miryama" are lonely sounding ballads that mine electro-acoustic territory. Cohen gets a nice fragile Miles-like tone on the ballads. Overall, this is a solid effort. The music seems strained at times, as if the musicians were trying to stuff in too many ideas rather than letting things flow naturally. But there is a lot of potential for the combination of jazz, electronics and world music.

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