Saturday, May 16, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Avishai Cohen's Triveni reimagines standards

This week, our video spotlight shines on trumpeter Avishai Cohen, who will be in St. Louis to perform for one night only this Thursday, May 21 at Jazz at the Bistro. Cohen will be playing with his group Triveni, a trio with bassist Omer Avital and drummer Nasheet Waits that plays stripped-down versions of well-known songs from the modern jazz repertoire, along with original material in a similar style.

Not to be confused with the jazz bassist of the same name, the trumpet-playing Avishai Cohen is a native of Tel Aviv, Israel and the younger brother of clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen and saxophonist Yuval Cohen, with whom he tours and records as The 3 Cohens.

He also has played since 2010 in the SF JAZZ Collective, succeeding Nicholas Payton and Dave Douglas in the group's trumpet chair. Although this will be Cohen's first gig at the Bistro as a bandleader, he did play the club once previously in November 2007 with Waverly Seven, a one-shot project that also included his sister.

Like his siblings, Avishai Cohen first came to the United States to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, and like his sister Anat, he stayed here after graduation and moved to NYC to launch his career. Since then, he's recorded seven albums as a leader, including three with Triveni, the most recent of which, Dark Nights, was released last October.

You can see Triveni perform "Dark Nights, Darker Days," the composition from which the album's title was derived, in the first video up above. After the jump, there's a video of them playing "You In All Directions," which, like the first clip, was recorded "live in studio" at The Bunker in Brooklyn.

The third clip goes back to October 2010, when the trio promoted their first album by performing in the studios of radio station WBGO for the program "The Checkout."

After that, there are three live tracks recorded more recently by variants of the band's principal lineup. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," which is on the Dark Nights... album, was recorded in February of this year in Rotterdam by Cohen, bassist Yoni Zelnik, and drummer Justin Brown.

Then, it's "One Man's Idea" from the 2014 North Sea Jazz Festival, with Cohen, Zelnik and Waits; and "Safety Land," recorded in February 2014 at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen by Cohen, Waits and bassist Reiner Elizarde.

Last but not least, there's a brief video interview from last fall, with Cohen talking about the concept for the band as Waits and Zelnik look on.

For more about Avishai Cohen and Triveni, see the interview with Cohen published in August 2014 by and his October 2014 interview with Music and Literature magazine.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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