Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Anat Cohen and Trio Brasileiro - Alegria da Casa (Anzic Records, 2016)

Clarinetist Anat Cohen joins with Trio Brasileiro members Dudu Maia on bandolim, Douglas Lora on seven-string guitar and Alexandre Lora on pandeiro and percussion for a spirited album of Brazilian tinged jazz. The album opens with “Murmurando,” which features nimble guitar playing and swooping clarinet with a delightfully woody and hollow sound. The guitar interplay sets up Cohen’s clarinet in excellent fashion. There is a choppy guitar rhythm to “Waiting For Amalia” to which is added a wistful clarinet melody that develops a brightly bouncing swing. “Alegria Da Casa” has fast and intricate guitar playing with subtle percussion. Clarinet and harmonica (Gabriel Grossi sitting in) add layers of sound to the music. High-pitched clarinet and the reedier harmonica play off each other very well. There is plaintive solo guitar to open “In the Spirit of Baden” before the full band strikes up led by taut, crying clarinet. Cohen raises the tempo of the music and interweaves her instrument with the strings in a very confident manner. “Engole O Choro” has bright and fast guitar playing and keening clarinet, which makes the sound of the music, become vibrant and alive. Percussion and guitar make way for light and dancing clarinet on “Sarue Latino.” The music develops a sense of boisterous joy, with the swirling clarinet flying over choppy strings and percussion. “Santa Morena” has subtle guitar that jumps quickly into gear, into a fast collective improvisation that has Cohen’s clarinet swirling overhead, leaving sections open for fine string interplay. This was an inspired meeting of the minds, since while Cohen is rooted in jazz and swing, she is continually looking for new challenges, and the Brazilian musicians meet her halfway, making for some excellent music. Alegria Da Casa - amazon.com

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