"Luminosa" is her 7th recording as a leader, all released on her Anzic Records label. The album features 7 tracks with her "working" quartet of Jason Lindner (piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, synthesizer), Joe Martin (bass), and Daniel Freedman (drums), 2 with her partners in Choro Aventuroso (accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, 7-string guitarist Cesar Garabini, and pandeiro player Sergio Krakowski), a duo with guitarist Romero Lubambo, and a stunning reading of "Beatriz" featuring Lubambo, Martin on bowed bass and threader on bass clarinet. While over half of the program features pieces written by Brazilian composers (including Lubambo's dancing clarinet-guitar duo"Bachiāo"), there's a mostly acoustic version of Flying Lotus's playful "Putty Boy Strut", a lovely original ballad "Ima", and the "cool jazz" swing of Ms. Cohen's "The Wein Machine" featuring her on tenor saxophone and special guest Gilad Hekselman on electric guitar. Percussionist Gilmar Gomes joins the proceedings on a number tracks including the expansive reading of Milton Nascimento's "Cais", a track made famous by vocalist Elis Regina.
Ms. Cohen's "Ima" ("mother" in Hebrew) is a sweet ballad with a clarinet solo that weaves in and out of the melody line. The gentle tribute shines in the midst of the more energetic tracks. The Choro quartet also contributes a ballad "Ternura" (composed by Brazilian saxophonist K-Ximbinho, a member of Severino Araujo's Orchestra) - the piece has a lilting melody and Ms. Cohen's clarinet solo has a bluesy edge.
"Luminosa" lives up to its title, the word means "bright, luminous" in Portuguese. Anat Cohen and her musical cohorts have a mission to bring lightness into our world and succeed...well, brilliantly. Her spirit and exuberance shines throughout this music, even moreso in person.
For more information, go to anatcohen.squarespace.com.
Here's "Espinha De Bacalhau":
|photo by Xan Padrõn|
A compact 36 minutes, "Latina" will leave you breathless. There's nary a ballad - I can't imagine wanting to leave the dance floor when this music is playing. Cristina Pato not only can play impressively but also uses her music to teach about the wide range of Latin music. A warning for the faint of heart; watch out for her screams as they as fiery as her incendiary Galician bagpipes. For more information, go to www.cristinapato.com.
Pianist Roberta Piket issued her first solo CD in 2012. Featuring pieces by Wayne Shorter, Sam Rivers, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, her mentor Marian McPartland, her father Frederick (who passed when she was 8) plus several originals, it displayed her wonderful ability to "tell stories" in song. "Emanation (Solo: Volume 2)" (Thirteenth Note) is similar in style and repertoire (Ms. McPartland and Monk, joined here by Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jerome Kern, Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz, Sigmund Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II, and 3 originals, 1 based in a theme by Frederic Chopin) and just as rewarding to listen to.
Her splendid work on Gillespie's "Con Alma" conveys both the flowing rhythm and the handsome melody. Monk's "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-lues" has that recognizable quirky melodic style the composer employed, conjuring images of him dancing while the band plays. The music gets decidedly funky on Hancock's "Actual Proof", a piece from his Headhunters days. Ms. Piket stays acoustic but the music is grounded in the dance rhythms that that ensemble specialized in. Her solo takes flight, moving in and around the left hand "funk".
Roberta Piket does not waste her time or that of the listener by creating an album where she merely displays her formidable technique. Nor are there long tortuous passages; in their stead are well-defined melodies, intelligent harmonies and solos that build upon those harmonies and melodies in logical fashion. This is music that breathes, that reaches out for the heart and soul of the listener and, on occasion, for the dancing feet. "Emanation" is a fine recording that deserves your close attention.
For more information, go to robertajazz.com.