Avishai Cohen

"1970"

(sony); pop/jazz

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Double bassist supremo Avishai Cohen’s 16th album is probably his most personal to date as he crosses completely over to the accessible zone and lures us in, not only with his phenomenal playing but with his honeyed silky voice.

Marked with his trademark, impeccably tasteful arrangements, the songs here pull in influences from his childhood, from the Beatles through to traditional Jewish melodies, bringing a richness and diversity to this wonderful album.

Many of these tunes possess an undertow of melancholy, particularly on the bittersweet For No One and the Latin flavoured take of Motherless Child, and this is in no small part due to his warm, soulful voice, a voice that embraces you with its soft, smooth tone.

And his support cast of choice – Itamar Doari on percussion, vocalist Karen Malka, Yael Shapira on cello, Elyasaf Bishari on oud, Jonatan Daskal on keyboards and drummer Tal Kohavi – is simply stunning.

Consummate musicians all, they provide muscle, fire, simplicity and intrigue as required.

Sweeping gracefully across traditional, contemporary, commercial and free flowing jazz with consummate ease, there is a symmetry to these songs that pulls you in for the entire journey.

From the fantastically dreamy drone of D’ror Yikra to the sparse heartbreak of Move On, the gorgeous Blinded and the gently uplifting Song of Hope, genres fade and technique evaporates, so that what you’re provided with is a listening experience that transcends and washes over you, inviting you to just sit back and take it all in.

A delight.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.