The last show of the Avishai Cohen trio’s latest Ronnie Scott’s residency: this late night set was the first time I’d heard him with his new trio, Azerbaijani pianist Elchin Shirinov and an old school mate of Cohen’s, drummer Noam David.
It is a tough gig for any musician keeping up with Cohen given the extraordinary level of technique and power the former Chick Corea bassist brings to the table, and while David was more than up to the challenge and provided his own fireworks I thought Shirinov took a while to settle. But when he did his rapport with Cohen was pretty clear and the gig really caught fire.
Playing new music which the trio have been recording recently, often shaped around a tiny folkloric figure often rising up from the piano, there were no tune titles provided at all throughout and it was only in the encore when prompted by a heckler and when Cohen sang a beautiful version of Mercedes Sosa’s ‘Alfonsina y El Mar’ that the gig touched on the more familiar given that this gem has been in Cohen’s repertoire for many years.
Cohen has incredible speed at his disposal but more than this it is the way he curls rhythms away from the places you expect them to land that continually surprises and provides such delight. SG
The opening track from Multitasking above is new from the impressive Kuba Więcek trio, the album is to be released on the Warner Music Poland label.
Their second album — the band reminds me a little of Roller trio — following on from the award winning Another Raindrop released two years ago, this time around electronics plays more of a part.
Hear the trio at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London on 5 May.
Fans of free-jazz drum legend Andrew Cyrille have had plenty of late-career goodies in recent years to delve into, with last year’s Lebroba the pick.
Cyrille’s work with Cecil Taylor secures his place in jazz history and somehow Uri Caine manages to make that connection with his resourcefully spiky bravura runs and elasticity in this superstar trio with Dave Douglas, one of today’s most acclaimed trumpeters.
Douglas adds plenty of bluesy smears and dazzling runs that knit in perfectly with his trio partners. Devotion is quite an accessible release pivoting between handsome melodic ideas and rampaging freedom. There is a lot of economy in what the trio provide, stickling to mainly four- and five-minute length tunes that say so much in a relatively brief amount of time.
The tunes are by Dave Douglas and serve as dedications to musicians he admires such as Franco D’Andrea. The title track is a hymn by Alexander Johnson that dates back to the 19th century and draws the album strikingly to a close. SG
New this month on Mack Avenue from one of the world's great jazz drummers check out ‘Twelve’s It’ from Perpetual Optimism. The piece is a homage to pianist Ellis Marsalis who was an early mentor to Riley.