Anat Cohen Again Breathes New Life into the Jazz Clarinet

There haven’t been many great clarinetists in Jazz since the days of Sidney Bechet, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. That changed a few years ago when Anat Cohen came on the scene. She first became known for her saxophone work when she and her brothers, also accomplished Jazz musicians, came to the US from Israel in the 1990’s.

She first came into prominence as a saxophonist before returning her focus to her first love, the clarinet. She then released a series of acclaimed recordings on her own Anzic label including the latest, Claroscuro, a play on Chiaroscuro, the Spanish word that describes the play of light and shade. Anat is joined on this release by a group of world-class musicians including Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Friedman. Many of the tracks also feature guest musicians including the acclaimed Cuban born multireed man Paquito d’Rivera, Wycliffe Gordon, one of the best trombone players around and percussionist Gilmar Gomes.

To read the full article click here

Bob Cochran culturalpurveyor.com

Claroscuro – Pittsburgh Tribune

Offering a variety of tones and shades on clarinet, Anat Cohen does indeed create something that could be called “Claroscuro.” Rapidly turning into one of the best clarinetists in jazz, Cohen offers originals, a gently drifting version of “La Vie en Rose,” Artie Shaw’s “Nightmare” and a great version of “Um a Zero” from Brazil’s famed Pixinguinha. On the latter and on three other numbers, she is joined by Paquito D’Rivera, who rivals her clarinet stardom. But it says quite a bit about Cohen’s playing when it stands so far above his work. On “Kick Off,” Cohen plays bass clarinet as D’Rivera joins her on the higher-pitched woodwind. She plays tenor and soprano saxes on the album, too, but her work on clarinet stands out, which is normally the case. It is no surprise she took the top spot on this year’s Downbeat magazine critic’s poll. Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon joins the band for two tracks on this well-done album. The album is available Tuesday.

To see the original article click here

Bob Karlovits triblive.com

The Many Shades (and Vibrant Colors) of Anat Cohen

Even a few weeks before her new recording was released, Anat Cohen had earned the #1 ranking for clarinet in Downbeat’s Critics poll and graced the cover of Jazz Times’ “Women’s Issue” (September 2012). The spotlight was already well earned; Claroscuro (Anzic), however, serves as confirmation that Cohen’s talents warrant gender-neutral evaluation. In the largely male-dominated universe of instrumental jazz, Anat Cohen challenges those stereotypes with every note.

To read the full review click here

jazzpolice.com

Claroscuro, “speaks in an array of brilliant colors”

The clarinetist and multi-reedist Anat Cohen has a sound that speaks in an array of brilliant colors. As a performer and leader, (she recently kicked off the release of “Claroscuro” on Anzic Records with a six night gig at the Village Vanguard, a comfortable space that she called “one big living room”) Cohen knows how to pull a listener in, feeding on the attention of her audience as much as her quartet to rapturously blow through standards old and new and absorbing originals, too. She’s a charmer who connects emotionally and you walk away both thrilled and thoroughly entertained – all of which is nicely conveyed on the disc.

To read the full article click here

jazzinspace.blogspot.com

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.

To read the full review click here

Scott Krane JazzTimes

Anat Interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered

Born in Tel Aviv, Anat Cohen came to New York two decades ago to study the masters of jazz. In so doing, the clarinetist and saxophonist started a bit of a stampede: Today, Israel is exporting some of the most vital jazz out there.

After years of also studying the music of South America, Cohen has chosen to name her newest record Claroscuro. It’s the Spanish variation on the Italian art term ‘chiaroscuro’ — the technique of contrasting light and shadow. Cohen spoke with NPR’s Guy Raz about her home country’s emergence as a jazz capital, what changed for her when she came to the U.S., and where her mind goes when she performs.

Listen to the entire interview on NPR.org

 

 

Claroscuro reviewed in Jazz in space

The clarinetist and multi-reedist Anat Cohen has a sound that speaks in an array of brilliant colors. As a performer and leader, (she recently kicked off the release of “Claroscuro” on Anzic Records with a six night gig at the Village Vanguard, a comfortable space that she called “one big living room”) Cohen knows how to pull a listener in, feeding on the attention of her audience as much as her quartet to rapturously blow through standards old and new and absorbing originals, too. She’s a charmer who connects emotionally and you walk away both thrilled and thoroughly entertained – all of which is nicely conveyed on the disc.

Read the entire review by Nick Bewsey here

Jazz Police Review Claroscuro

Even a few weeks before her new recording was released, Anat Cohen had earned the #1 ranking for clarinet in Downbeat’s Critics poll and graced the cover of Jazz Times’ “Women’s Issue” (September 2012). The spotlight was already well earned; Claroscuro (Anzic), however, serves as confirmation that Cohen’s talents warrant gender-neutral evaluation. In the largely male-dominated universe of instrumental jazz, Anat Cohen challenges those stereotypes with every note.

The Israeli-born Cohen chose the unusual title for her sixth album from an Italian term (“chiaroscuro”) meaning “light/dark”—the tonal contrasts that give paintings a feeling of depth, reflecting what Anat describes as the musical contrasts between “buoyant and joyous” and “multilayered and intense.” “Claroscuro” is the Spanish version of the word. And aside from the obvious reference to her main instrument, “claroscuro” indeed describes the range of mood and color that Cohen and her cohorts (her working quartet of pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman, with special guests Paquito D’Rivera, Wycliffe Gordon, and Gilmer Gomes) bring to eleven tracks that cover the world from New Orleans to New York to Brazil to Africa, and celebrate composers from Artie Shaw and Lonnie Smith to Jobim and Nasciemento, and the musicians themselves.

Read Andrea Carter’s entire review at Jazz Police

eMusic Names Claroscuro “Pick of the Week!”

Anat Cohen, Claroscuro: Multi-reedist Cohen keeps gaining steam right along with quality releases. Her newest has Cohen hitting all the right notes on clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano & tenor sax. Bringing in her quartet of Jason Lindner (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Daniel Freedman (drums), she also has guest appearances by Paquito D’Rivera, Wycliffe Gordon, and Gilmar Gomes. She hits on elements of different music forms (some ballads, some African, some Brazilian, etc), but ultimately the album’s focal point is Cohen’s buoyant sound. Album ranks up there with Anat’s collaboration albums with the 3 Cohens trio. Pick of the Week.

-Dave Summer

Read the rest of the picks on emusic

Live Review: Anat Cohen at the Village Vanguard 9/22/2012

The multi-reedist pays homage to Goodman and the rest at the legendary club

By Scott Krane, Jazz Times

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.

Read the entire review on Jazz Times