Avishai Cohen uses EV RE20
December 12, 2006
“. . . one of the most gifted bassists of his generation is finding his own voice as a composer.”
Bassist/Composer Avishai Cohen was one of the first Israel-born jazz musicians to make a big splash in the U.S. Cohen moved to New York permanently in 1992 after studying classical/jazz piano and bass in Israel, (Music & Arts Academy and with Maestro Michael Klinghoffer) and in the United States (in St. Louis). After attending both the New School and Mannes College of Music in New York City, Cohen performed with fellow students such as pianist Brad Mehldau. After studying with bassist Andy Gonzalez, Cohen performed in a Latin jazz band that included Abel Rodriguez and Ray Santiago. As a result of this experience, combined with his deep understanding and love of Latin Music and jazz, Cohen got the call to join pianist Danilo Perez’s trio. Cohen moved on from Perez’s band in 1996 to become a founding member of the legendary Chick Corea’s new sextet, “Origin.““ . . .nobody’ll kvetch about getting an extra helping of Cohen’s deep, ermine-edged bass, which he strokes with a subtlety hardly anyone matches.“ Greg Burk, L.A. WeeklyUntil late in 2003, Avishai was a member of the Chick Corea New Trio (the bassist is prominently featured on the 10 DVD boxed set Chick Corea: Rendezvous In New York), and accompanist to other jazz note-worthies, including Bobby McFerrin, Roy Hargrove, Herbie Hancock, Nnenna Freelon, Claudia Acuña, Paquito D’Rivera and many others. Avishai has become a first call musician in multiple genres. In 2003 he made a studio recording with pop-soul artist Alicia Keys, and has also performed concert works with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and The Boston Pops Symphony.
2003 was a busy year for the bassist/composer. In addition to his playing and composing activities, Cohen decided to create his own record label, preempting the course that fellow artists Dave Holland, Dave Douglas and many others have since taken. “I’ve always been interested in several genres of music, including jazz, rock, pop, classical, Latin and funk,“ said Cohen. “And I’m always packed with ideas, so I decided to start my own label because I’m involved in so many different projects.“ In addition to releasing his own recordings, Razdaz is gearing up to release the debut recording of drummer Mark Guiliana’s genre-busting band Heernt, “Locked In A Basement“ , featuring Guiliana on drums, trombone and electronics, Zac Colwell on saxophone, flute, keyboards and electric guitar, and Neal Persiani on electric bass.Razdaz Recordz is distributed internationally and in the US by Sunnyside/Ryko Distribution. The label released its debut CD, Avishai’s Lyla in September 2003. The second recording on Razdaz Recordz is extraordinary 11-song collection, At Home, a recording that showcases Cohen’s multifaceted musical prowess (released on February 22, 2005).Avishai Cohen will be on a worldwide tour with his trio, plus special guests, in support of Continuo throughout 2006, including engagements at Ronnie Scotts, The Blue Note (Japan & New York) and The Ottawa Jazz Festival and appearances at the JVC Jazz Festivals - New York and Newport.