Avishai Cohen, from Tel Aviv and now based in New York City, has been praised as one of the best new jazz trumpeters by polls and critics, and he is compared to Miles Davis for his refrained, long tone approach filled with space to roam for himself and his group, most notably Triveni, including bassist Omer Avital, and drummer Nasheet Waits.
All fine trumpeters are going to be influenced by Miles, somehow, and since Miles went through so many styles, as an innovator, the comparison is not always helpful. Where Avishai stands out from the pack, though, is with his relaxed sound most similar to what Miles reached in his sessions for the soundtrack to “Ascenseur pour l’echafaud” (“Lift to the gallows”), a 1958 crime film by Louis Malle.
Miles recalled fondly in his autobiography, how the mellow mood for that recording, done in Paris on December 4th & 5th 1957, was reached by drinking fine French wines through the long night sessions.
Similarly, and quite remarkably, Avishai Cohen’s Triveni gets to that plane, which Miles left in Paris, but then digs in even deeper to a sultry and majestic underground/alternative jazz, on his album “Dark Nights” (2014, Anzic). Angelo Badalamenti only flirted with such dark, late-night atmospheric jazz for David Lynch films, but Cohen nails it down, with his more expansive compositions and an urgency set to slow-motion mode found more in indie post-rock groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Cohen’s newest recording “Into the Silence” (2016, ECM) is more reminiscent of a later Miles period, the Silent Way sessions from 1968 and 1969, and it’s a lighter sound than its predecessor, though it is certainly not a lightweight recording. It also departs into a freer, in the sense of a more open, meditative and even uplifting, post-modern jazz. This one features Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone, Yonathan Avishai on piano, Eric Revis on double-bass, and Nasheet Waits (from Cohen’s Triveni) on drums.
Years from now, the two albums could be sold as a double-set with one titled for long evening listening sessions, along with fine red wines, and the latter for the mornings after, for a new and wholesome day.
For his upcoming tour in Europe and the UK, Avishai Cohen will be performing as a quartet with Yonathan Avishai on piano, Yoni Zelnik on double-bass, and his mainstay Nasheet Waits on drums.
Avishai Cohen’s newest group on tour in Europe and the UK in May, 2017
May 3, Wednesday—Opderschmelz, Dudelange, Luxembourg
May 4, Thursday—Le Cheval Blanc, Schilitigheim, France
May 6, Saturday—Europa Jazz Festival, Le Mans, France
May 8, Monday—Ronnie Scotts’s, London, UK
May 9, Tuesday—Jazz Dock, Prague, Czech Republic
May 10, Wednesday—Teatro Forma, Bari, Italy
May 12, Friday—La Spirale, Fribourg, Switzerland
May 13, Saturday—Chapelle du Mejan, Arles, France
May 14, Sunday—Silent Green Kulturquartier, Berlin, Germany
May 15, Monday—Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Cologne, Germany
May 18, Thursday—La Maison De La Culture d’Amiens, Amiens, France
May 19, Friday—Maison des Oceans, Paris, France
May 20, Saturday—Le Petit Faucheux, Tours, France
Text: Tony Ozuna
Last modified: July 15, 2018