It has been more than 70 years since Benny Goodman, a nice clarinet-blowing Jewish boy from Chicago, emerged on the jazz scene and kept things swinging in the homeland during the Second World War. Today, things are different. The world is at war on another front; many musical revolutions have already occurred, norms and icons have been shattered. The Tel Aviv-born clarinet player Anat Cohen is doing a fine job at perhaps filling Goodman’s chair. After all, she has a formidable sense of soul and the ability to make an impression on the jazz aesthetic, and in doing so she does it justice. Whereas Goodman was a classicist, setting a modern jazz precedent, Cohen is an impressionist, paying homage to the masters of old, while acknowledging the times of present. She certainly sketched impressions of a rainy Saturday night at the legendary Village Vanguard, where she was just closing up a one-week stint that had featured a guest appearance by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, earlier in the week.

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Scott Krane JazzTimes

Anat Featured in JazzTimes

Clarinetist-Saxophonist Anat Cohen Plays with Light and Shade on Her New Album of Swinging Lyricism and Irresistible Variety, “Claroscuro”

Cohen’s sixth solo album – to be released on September 25, 2012 by Anzic Records – sees the jazz star at home in a world of music, ranging with her ace band from New York and New Orleans to Brazil and Africa

“The lyric beauty of her tone, the easy fluidity of her technique and the extroverted manner of her delivery make this music accessible to all.”
– The Chicago Tribune

Anat Cohen – celebrated the world over for her expressive virtuosity on clarinet and saxophone, not to mention the sheer joie de vivre in her charismatic stage presence – presents the latest record of her evolution with Claroscuro, her sixth album as a bandleader.To be released by Anzic Records on September 25, 2012, Claroscuro takes its title from the Spanish word describing the play of light and shade (chiaroscuro in Italian). The album ranges from deliciously buoyant dances to darkly lyrical ballads, with live-in-the-studio spontaneity a priority; moreover, Claroscuro showcases Cohen’s fluency in a global set of styles, from the creolized chanson of New Orleans and the evergreen swing of an Artie Shaw tune to African grooves and Brazilian choro, samba and more. Cohen was joined in the studio by her ace working band – pianist Jason Lindner, double-bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman – as well as special guests: trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, percussionist Gilmar Gomez and star clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. In its irresistible variety, Claroscuro encapsulates the description Jazz Police offered of Cohen in flight: “She becomes a singer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.”

Claroscuro, recorded at Avatar Studios in Manhattan, comprises music from America, France, Brazil and South Africa played by kindred spirits from Israel, America, Brazil and Cuba – a melting pot stirred up magically in the moment, with many performances captured in a single take, often with impromptu arrangements. Cohen says: “I’m playing with some of my favorite musicians in the world, and we all speak a common language, no matter where we come from.”

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