|Oregon Music News|
Ms. Cohen's composition "The Purple Piece" (first recorded in 2007 with her Quartet on the "Poetica" album) follows. Slower than the earlier version, it goes in several directions and moods, starting out somber then becoming more open and playful during the clarinet solo. Pay attention to how Hersch accompanies the solo and just how closely he's paying attention to his musical partner. The pianist's solo is a pleasing two-handed journey that is also emotionally rich.
The album also includes a number of recognizable standards ("Jitterbug Waltz", "The Peacocks", "Isfahan", and "Mood Indigo") but, surprisingly for a Fred Hersch album, no Thelonious Monk. Nevertheless, the listener should enjoy how the duo approaches the classic jazz tunes. Jimmy Rowles oft-recorded "The Peacocks" is a fascinating 10:25 journey with Ms. Cohen, at first, caressing the melody, giving the song a bluesy feel. Hersch's solo is breath-taking, also referencing the blues yet with such dynamic and melodic variation. When the clarinetist returns, the duo slows down the piece, making the music shimmer and the listener hang on every note.
For the encore, the duo take a slow stroll through the elegant Ellington composition "Mood Indigo". There are moments here (and elsewhere) where this listener as is the pianist is creating a very fancy "rent party." Ms. Cohen enjoys the challenge, dancing with her partner on "Jitterbug Waltz" and Hersch's "Lee's Dream" where she is darting in and out of his solo with quiet flurries of short phrases. "Live in Healdsburg" is a gift from two distinctive musician, Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch, both of whom play with such joy and "daring", on "a lark" when they hit the stage to make the listeners smile.
For more information, go to www.anatcohen.com or fredhersch.com.
Give a listen:
here). Bassist François Moutin has been playing since he was five years old, first on guitar and piano, then moving to the bass in his teens. After earning a doctorate in physics, he became a professional musician. Before coming to the United States in 1997, he had worked with artists such as pianists Martial Solal and Jean-Michel Pilc. Since settling in the New World, Moutin has never lacked for steady work, playing alongside Billy Hart, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, and Dave Liebman (among many others).
|Photo: Jacob Blickenstaff|
There's much to enjoy here. François Moutin is quite the musician, such a melodic and inventive bassist. Kavita Shah is also quite a musician, with a mature voice that holds your attention and seemingly no fear. One can't help but hear how the duo has built up trust in each other. There are surprises throughout "Interplay" but the focus is on creativity and excellent musicianship. Get this, sit down, then let the sounds into your heart and mind.
For more information. go to www.kavitashah.com or www.moutin.com/Francois.html.
Here's one of the pieces with Martial Solal: