Claroscuro on Karl Stark’s "Best in Jazz" List

December 11th, 2012


Karl Stark’s Best in Jazz
By: Karl Stark

Anat Cohen, Claroscuro (Anzic Records). As jazz goes more international, it is only proper that a Tel Aviv-born clarinetist based in New York should play music from Brazil, France, Cuba, and South Africa, with some New Orleans sass thrown in. Only Anat Cohen, a master storyteller on reeds, can pull it off like this.

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Anat Cohen on Piano Jazz

November 19th, 2012

from NPR

Anat Cohen on Piano Jazz

Israel-born clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen joins Marian McPartland, along with bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis, for a quartet edition of Piano Jazz.

Born and Raised in Tel Aviv, Anat Cohen grew up in a musical family: Her older brother Yuval played saxophone and her younger brother Avishai played trumpet. (Both are currently working jazz musicians.) Their father’s extensive collection of jazz records entertained and influenced them all.

Cohen began her musical studies at age 12 playing clarinet. At the Thelma Yelin High School for the Arts, she discovered jazz, but her teachers encouraged her to switch from clarinet to saxophone. After graduation and two years of mandatory military service, during which she played with the Israel Air Force Band, she came to Berklee — her older brother Yuval was already there, and Avishai would soon follow.

At Berklee, Cohen’s teachers persuaded her to reincorporate the clarinet into her repertoire in addition to studies on the saxophone and the flute. In Boston, she also came in contact with other international students and began exploring the intersection of world music and jazz, with a particular interest in Latin styles. Gigging around Boston, Cohen joined up with groups that specialized in styles ranging from Afro-Cuban to Argentinean, Brazilian Choro and even Klemzer music.

Cohen moved to New York and began to cultivate a specialty in Brazilian music, working with such groups as Brazooka Band, the Choro Ensemble and the Samba Jazz quintet led by Brazilian drummer Duduka Da Fonseca. She also continued in straight jazz projects, playing lead tenor sax in the Diva Jazz Orchestra and the Gully Low Jazz Band, a group dedicated to traditional jazz.

Anat Cohen leads her own quartet and performs with her brothers as The Three Cohens. Her latest recording is Claroscuoro (2012, Anzic Records). Cohen and her band are currently playing dates across the United States.

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Anat Cohen brings new and old sounds to the clarinet

November 12th, 2012

from The Chicago Tribune

Only one clarinetist on earth could have come up with the album “Claroscuro,” its stylistic breadth expressing the singular esthetic of soloist Anat Cohen.

That Cohen careens on this disc from original compositions to Brazilian fare, from historic repertoire to bracing new music sums up her approach to the art of jazz improvisation and composition. That she makes all of this music sound as if belongs to a single continuum says a great deal about her gifts as bandleader and soloist.

Cohen, however, finds nothing unusual at all about the range of repertoire she explores in“Claroscuro” and elsewhere in her musical life.

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Review: Claroscuro, "deftly and nonchalantly weaves together most of the disparate threads"

Jazz: The Whammies and Anat Cohen
By:Peter Margasak

Though the Umbrella festival dominates this weekend’s jazz and improvised-music calendar, it’s hardly the only action in town. On Sunday Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen returns to the area for a show at SPACE in Evanston with her excellent quartet—pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Daniel Freedman. In September Cohen released her most definitive album yet, Claroscuro (Anzic)—the title is the Spanish word for the play of light and shade—on which she deftly and nonchalantly weaves together most of the disparate threads she addresses separately in her multifarious projects, from Brazilian music to classic swing to postbop.

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Review: "…capable of spanning the entirety of jazz history on one album or song"

November 7th, 2012

CD Review: Anat Cohen “Claroscuro”
By: Ron Netsky

Since her move from Israel to New York in 1999, Anat Cohen has dazzled audiences on a variety of reed instruments including clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano sax, and tenor sax. She is also one of those rare players who is somehow capable of spanning the entirety of jazz history on one album or song. That’s certainly the case on her cleverly named new CD, “Claroscuro.” The word is the Spanish version of the Italian term chiaroscuro, the intensely contrasting lighting that lends drama to the works of painters like Caravaggio. Claroscuro is not only an apt metaphor for the dynamic range of Cohen’s music; it’s also a nice pun on her clarinet prowess.

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Anat Cohen, exquisite jazz artistry

November 6th, 2012


A more intimate clarinet festival
By: Mordecai Specktor

Jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen reports that she was spared the calamitous effects of Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re some of the luckiest people — we were not affected,” she says, during a phone conversation with the AJW last week from her home in New York City. “Everything is fine in my neighborhood; there was no flooding and no shortage of anything, which is pretty far out, considering the devastation in other parts of the city.”

Cohen resides “in the holy land of Brooklyn, in a part called Williamsburg,” which also is home to thousands of Hasidim. “We were passed over.”

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Live Review: Anat Cohen Quart at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club

November 6th, 2012

Anat Cohen at Kennedy Center Jazz Club
By: Fran A. Matzner

Anat Cohen has received no shortage of accolades of late and her rise is a testament to her stunning capacities on clarinet and saxophone. She is no stranger to Washington, DC audiences either, packing clubs and concert halls from Bohemian Caverns to the Sixth and I Synagogue. Most recently, Cohen filled the Kennedy Center’s Jazz Club, where she helped highlight the modernistic trajectory that pianist Jason Moran is charting for the Center’s jazz program as its new artistic director.

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Claroscuro, Latin Jazz Network’s Album of the Week

This is so characteristic of the glorious reeds and winds style of Anat Cohen and it is no exception on Claroscuro as well. Cohen is one of the most adventuresome clarinet players since Don Byron seemed to pick up from where Eric Dolphy left off on bass clarinet at least. Her playing gurgles and bubbles like a playful brook as it rushes onward, rhythmically leaping over stone and silt. Thus with path-breaking liquidity and rhythms that skip and leap, dally and dangle, Cohen continues to chart a course that is so thrilling that it is no coincidence that listening to her with body and soul the audiophile is often left breathless.

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Raul de Gama

The Seattle Times Reviews Claroscuro

Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen sparkles on ‘Claroscuro’

‘Claroscuro’ (Anzic)

The clarinet went so hopelessly out of fashion in jazz after the swing era it was anybody’s guess when it would make a comeback. Don Byron gained the first major yardage, but the soulful, ebullient Israeli musician Anat Cohen has scored a touchdown. Perhaps because of her international background, Cohen takes jazz as part of a great continuum of rhythm- and blues-driven world musics, so she’s equally comfy wailing like a siren on a New Orleans funeral dirge (“And the World Weeps”), slinking modally over a Middle Eastern vamp (“Kick Off”), waxing spiritual on soprano saxophone with an African Kora and hand drums, and toasting Champagne licks with Cuban clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera on a Brazilian choro (“A Um Zero”).

Lest you think Cohen’s music is all deep and world-political, note that she’s also a girl who knows how to have fun, and dance with romantic colors: to wit, a swinging take on Edith Piaf’s signature song “La Vie En Rose” (with a cool, Louis Prima-like vocal by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon), and a devastating presentation of the lovesick Cartola ballad “As Rosas Nao Falam” (“The Roses Can’t Speak”).

This is the kind of music — warm, human, diverse and irresistible — that will not only bring the clarinet back into favor, but jazz itself.

Paul de Barros, Seattle Times jazz critic