Avishai Cohen Dark Nights Anzic Records ***1/2
Last heard from trumpeter Avishai Cohen was on Mark Turner’s elaborately layered Lathe of Heaven released back in September. Dark Nights is easier to digest to a certain extent, the overwhelmingly freebop and fluid lines pouring out from Cohen and his Trio Triveni colleagues, bassist Omer Avital and Bandwagon drummer Nasheet Waits, easily flowing.
Originals of Cohen’s and versions of ‘Lush Life’, and ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ are among the standards, Cohen not averse to introducing some electronics along the way. Cohen’s sister star clarinettist Anat guests as does pianist Gerald Clayton on ‘Old Soul’ taken real slow, and singer Keren Ann makes an appearance too, in her case, on a smouldering ‘I Fall in Love Too Easily’. Cohen has great tonal resource and brings strong character to his lead lines, and there’s consummate skill in the way he pitches the more heritage material to nudge it towards a modern audience. Definitely worth your time.