Avishai Cohen

After the Big Rain | Anzic
By JON GARELICK  |  July 23, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
072707_inside_AVISHAICOHENWorking with the Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke, trumpeter Avishai Cohen (not to be confused with the bass player of the same name) has brewed a sweet concoction that draws on the mixed legacy of Miles Davis and Don Cherry. You get the lyricism and electronics of both players (lots of plugged-in trumpet here, and Fender Rhodes), but also Cherry’s world-music spiritualism. Loueke contributes his lilting vocals and his own folk-pop “Gbede Temin” as well as lyrics for Cohen’s “Miryama” and a Fon translation of Cohen’s lyrics for the title track. Throughout, West African folk melodies and polyrhythms (bassist Omer Avital, drummer Daniel Freedman, and chekere player Yosvany Terry) mix with Miles-like post bop. The title track opens with Loueke’s kora-like acoustic plucking and sweet vocals, and proceeds in the best “process”-like manner, building a latticework of rhythms, Cohen repeating the short melody over and over in his electronic mews. He takes to open horn on “Parto Forte,” breaking from the African melody into bebop runs. And “Afterthoughts (Mozartine)” is a great lyric ballad in the Miles tradition — muted horn blowing long lines, breaking for ruminative Fender Rhodes (Jason Lindner), and returning. Here’s hoping for a live tour.
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