Friday, August 17, 2007

Anat Cohen, Poetica, Anzic

OK, I'll admit it, I am madly in love with Anat Cohen, or rather her playing, her clarinet playing in particular, not that I don't love her playing on the multiple saxophones she plays as well. But this is her clarinet CD and I don't frigging get how somebody once told her to play something else, unless the point was to expand her horizons and make her clarinet playing even better.

I'm saying Sidney Bechet and Benny Goodman, maybe even irascible Artie Shaw, would have been standing in the back of the room thinking, well hell, she is kicking my butt.

Stuff like Hofim (Beaches) and The Purple Piece (Cohen's composition) threaten to make the clarinet more than a novelty in jazz again. In between, she trots out her classical and Latin interests (sometimes with strategic strings) and as interest goes there's nothing here that isn't interesting. The with-strings recasting of Coltrane's Lonnie's Lament makes me appreciate Coltrane even more, not to mention Anat and the band playing it. Scintillating.

Must mention pianist Jason Lindner and bassist Omer Avital, who are perfect accompanists.


Anonymous said...

I'd never heard of Anat Cohen, but in fulfilling my sacred vow to go see live music on Joe Strummer's birthday every year, we went to Zinc Bar in Manhattan last Tuesday to see Choro Ensemble, which turned out to be led by Anat Cohen--"From Tel Aviv, Brazil!" She was very good. And Mauricio Ze's tambourine solo was amazing (though I may be remembering his name wrong).

Mr. Greg said...

Ooh, I am envious. I have their appropriately, if not very creatively, titled Choro Ensemble, which makes for a different forum in which to hear Anant Cohen. In addition to her obvious proficiency, this is one of the things that impresses me about her. I now have five CDs involving her heavily (three in which she's the leader and the other two one of the leaders) and all of them are radically different from the others.

Mr. Greg said...

Now I'm going to see Anat and the Waverly Seven in St. Louis the end of November.

Anonymous said...

I'll keep an eye out for her, too. She did make us think of Benny Goodman. She was actively in charge; more than once, she got up and stood in audience position and ordered adjustments to the sound.