Jul 3, 2011

Concert Review: Anat Cohen Quartet

Another great concert at Stanford last night! Anat Cohen probably plays jazz clarinet as well as anyone on this planet, and I say this as a lifelong clarinet player. I could call her technique "unbelievable," but I was there, so I believe it. Anat's soloing style has been described as incorporating many influences - what reached my ear was: roots in the jazz mainstream; precision that probably started with some early classical training; the expressive note-bending gestures of klezmer and early jazz; and a certain amount of fusion/soul stylistic inflection. She understands her roots, but her style is very contemporary.

She didn't play any choros, but I'm not complaining.

Cohen's quartet also included Robert Rodriquez, piano; Joe Martin, bass; and Daniel Freedman, drums. They are all wonderful players, and the band had a great rapport. Freedman was especially impressive - subtle, inventive, supportive, always precise. There was a lot of rhythmic interplay, much of it coming from Freedman and Martin. Pieces tended to be long - the last set was just three tunes, at least fifteen minutes each. Solos were long, with plenty of time to develop ideas. As with all the best performers, each solo and each tune took the audience on a journey.

Here's a link to Anat Cohen's website.

The Stanford Jazz Festival concerts are always good, but this summer's lineup is better than ever. I've been to three events so far (Milton Nascimento earlier this week - what a privilege!). The organizers did a great job. Tickets are not cheap, but I'll be taking in a few more of these concerts in the next couple of months.

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