Avishai Cohen (bass), Omri Mor (piano), Amir Brelser (drums)
Bassist and composer Avishai Cohen broke through during the 90s at the side of pianist Chuck Corea. The past few years he more and more incorporates his own roots into his music resulting in a mixture of the Sephardi-Mediterranean culture with the Eastern European heritage. With his experiences from the New York jazz scène and his Israeli background he has much knowledge combined with a strong Jewish tradition.
He grew up in a family of musicians in the kibbutz Kabri, situated in the north of Israel. He started playing the piano at an early age and switched to the electrical bass following the example of his idol, the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius. After being part of an army band for two years he took up the double bass after which he moved to New York.
In order to make a living he was obliged to work in construction and to perform on the street, in the subway as well as in parks. Those were the most difficult days of my life, he says. After a while he was invited to play with latin jazz bands and in small clubs. He ended up with the trio of pianist Danilo Perez. From 1996 until 2003 he formed part of both Chick Coreas trio and sextet. In 2002 Cohen founded his own record label Razdaz Recordz on which his first albums appeared. I have always been interested in different music genres: jazz, rock, pop, latin and funk. My head is always full of ideas. That is why I started my own label.
When playing with Chick Corea people started to notice his talents as a bassist. Cohen has an extraordinary technique and an unusual manner of playing the acoustic bass. He plucks, picks, fiddles and even hits his instrument while wrapping himself around it.
Since 2003 Cohen directs his own Avishai Cohen Trio. In meantime he could be heard at the sides of Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and even Alicia Keys. In 2005 he returned to his homeland.
On his latest albums he more and more incorporates his own roots. His album Aurore was released on the famous Blue Note label and was followed by the release of Seven Seas at the beginning of 2011. His recent compositions, which often contain obsessed rhythms and unusual time signatures, are an excellent mixture of both eastern and western influences which leads to a very personal style.
A new album will be in stores in May: Duende, recorded with pianist Nitai Hershkowits. They first played together for several months in order to build up their own specific sound. After all, a dialogue between two instruments listens carefully. The album contains three standards, among which Monks Criss Cross as well as three themes made by Avishai Cohen. We recorded our expressions, without gimmicks or pretending to be a virtuoso. We let our hearts speak and not our fingers, is what Cohen says.