Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anat Cohen, Noir, Anzic

With the Anzic Orchestra, I make it 18 pieces plus Cohen. I hear music I'd expect to hear from a Mexican cantina band, modern big band swing ala Gerald Wilson's In My Time or Charles Tolliver's With Love, Jobim on a clarinet if Jobim played the clarinet, hard bop (great play from Cohen on tenor and the Anzic sax section on Do It, a Johnny Griffin tune), and bluesy balladeering, among other things. At one point, they make a smile-inducing, seamless trip from a samba into Struttin' With Some Barbecue. I gotta think Julian Adderley would have been impressed with Cohen's cheescake-rich alto tone on Cry. On tenor, she's skilled and powerful enough to sound a lot like James Carter on You Never Told Me That You Care.

Pristine musicianship all around often with a Latin tinge in balanced not overpowering measure. Cohen plays tenor, alto and soprano saxes and clarinet, is accomplished on all of them, but really stands out on the latter, which could use a torch bearer these days having been largely relegated to second string (or third, or the bench) in jazz from its swing heyday. She could be as Pee Wee Russell was in late career to clarinet and bop, only young enough to drive the instrument for a long time.

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