Sunday, October 14, 2012

Anat Cohen - Claroscuro (Anzic, 2012)

This a wide ranging group of songs, where Anat Cohen plays mostly clarinet but a few on saxophone too. She is supported on this album by a large group consisting of Daniel Freedman on drums, Gilmar Gomez on percussion, Jason Lindner on piano, Joe Martin on bass, Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet and Wycliffe Gordon on trombone. The up tempo tracks pack the most excitement, "Anat's Dance" and "All Brothers" swirl and sway with her reeds developing a willowy essence ably supported by the rest if the band. "All Brothers" is particularly interesting as it seems to add extra percussion or stringed instruments to provide added textural depth for the music. The slower songs lose a bit if the momentum moving from the haunting "As the World Weeps" to the hokey "La Vie En Rose" where Gordon's vocals and the arrangement lead to a bit too much of a maudlin feel. The music is immaculately played, and if anything this album might miss out from simply being too ambitious. Flitting from old-time swing to modern jazz then nodding to different music around the world. The ballads overwhelm with a world weary sadness and with melancholy and aching songs drowning out moments of joy. Claroscuro - amazon.com

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