“Avishai Cohen Trio – Gently Disturbed”
As I’ve reviewed Avishai’s music here before (and most of us are very familiiar with his music (right?!!) I won’t go into too much detail about Avishai’s history.This new album by Avishai (the first, I believe, since his relocation back to Israel) features Mark Guiliana (drms) and the newest member, Shai Maestro (pno). Shai is a wonder… only 21 years old and with such a command and presence with his instrument. Mark is, of course, wonderful (one of my favorite young drummers in the world today). This may be my favorite incarnation of Avishai’s trio yet.
This album does have a VERY familiar sound. It is not much of a departure from his past few recordings compositionally speaking, but there is a little more cohesion (in my opinion) with Shai on piano. I always dug Sam Barsh (the last pianist in the trio) but Shai seems to get more inside of the music. There is all of the rhythmic complexity and whimsical playfulness that we’ve come to expect from Avishai’s work, but there seems a depth to the music that I haven’t felt entirely since his larger ensemble work.
These three seem to speak together with one singular voice. Much more so than any of Avishai’s past smaller ensembles.
I must not forget to mention Avishai’s playing here, as well. I had (in the past) been much more of a fan of his writing than his playing (although I always had a ton of respect for Avishai as a player.. I just felt his compositional voice was stronger). I can’t pinpoint what’s different for me now, but I absolutely love his playing on the recording. Very powerful, but sensitive… free spirited, yet mature… restrained, but technically commanding. Lovely work all around. I love this group!