– Anat Cohen, Claroscuro (Anzic Records)
Multi-reedist Anat Cohen showcases her versatility as an instrumentalist and in her choice of musical styles on her sixth album as a leader. The Israeli-born, New York-based Cohen combines buoyant dances and dark ballads; thus the title, which describes the play of light and shade in art.
Cohen — playing clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor and soprano saxophones — swings on an Artie Shaw tune, Nightmare, and transports La Vie En Rose from Paris to New Orleans with the help of trombonist and vocalist Wycliffe Gordon. She and her working band of pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman are also joined by clarinet great Paquito D’Rivera and percussionist Gilmar Gomes. And The World Weeps, a Dr. Lonnie Smith blues, is a tour de force with saxophonist Cohen and trombonist Gordon getting down and dirty, with a Middle Eastern tinge.
Another great Cohen recording.
By Chris Smith