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Now nearing 50, the famous Israeli bassist, composer and performer Avishai Cohen seems to be at the peak of his art. Through 18 albums, his talent and eclectic references (from Stevie Wonder to Gabriel Fauré) have led him to embrace Eastern and Latin-American influences, blending Coltranian lyricism and classical rigour, traditional Hebrew chants, pop and soul. He has worked with, among others, Brad Mehldau, Paquito D’Rivera, Alicia Keys and Herbie Hancock. One year ago, he took to the road again with his mentor Chick Corea for the “Celebrating his 75th Birthday Tour”. We should recall that Corea was the first to notice the lyrical beauty of the bassist’s work, in a club in East Village, in the mid-1990s. A group leader, prodigious instrumentalist and singer, Avishai Cohen has been demonstrating his innate feeling for melody and improvisation for two decades now (“Adama”, his first album, dates from 1998). A worthy successor to “From Darkness”, released in 2015, Avishai’s brand-new album entitled “1970” (his year of birth) focuses on the most striking aspects of his talent: melody and singing. “This is not a jazz album,” he says. “I’ve always felt links with pop music, which I like just as much as Bach or Charlie Parker. Over time, singing has played a bigger and bigger role in my music.”

Line-up : Avishai Cohen (cb, b, g, p, voc), Shai Bachar (k, p, voc), Karen Malka (voc), Marc Kakon (g, oud, b, voc), Noam David (dms)

Photo : © Andreas Terlaak

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