ANAT COHEN TENTET - HAPPY SONG
On her October 6 Anzic Records release, Happy Song, Anat Cohen - with longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari and an eclectic band of musical omnivores - tells the story of the clarinet and writes her own original chapter. Never has this statement been more accurate than now, as the prolific clarinetist, composer and bandleader, along with musical director/arranger/composer (and partner in Anzic Records) Oded Lev-Ari, presents her third album release of 2017, Happy Song. On this inter-continental album, the peripatetic Cohen and Lev-Ari, leading the Anat Cohen Tentet, engage the listener with ten thrilling excursions. The songs not only conjure up geographical, musical hot spots for Anat (Israel, Eastern Europe, South America, New Orleans, New York City, etc), but also celebrate the life of the clarinet, it's beauty, versatility and stylistic adaptability. The Anat Cohen Tentet is set for a tour of the U.S. starting October 7 at the Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago.
U-NAM – THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION
A strong overview of recent sounds from U-Nam – one of the few contemporary guitarists to inherit the best 70s styles of artists like George Benson or David T Walker – and a set that also features a few new titles too! Like both of those jazz giants, U-Nam has a way of playing with a very chromatic approach – as strong in tone as he is deft on the strings – often in a nicely-blocked way that makes for a very soulful sound that almost makes you think you're hearing a vocal along with the tunes. The guitar sings out strongly – amidst new titles that include "Soul Breeze" and "Let The Music Play" – and other U-Nam favorites that include "Throwback Kid", "Keep The Faith", "Something's Up", "Street Life", "Going For Miles", "Back In Style", "Risin To The Top", "Breezin MA", and "Smoovin". ~ Dusty Groove
MARK SOSKIN - HEARTS AND MINDS
Pianist Mark Soskin has played on dozens of records over the decades, yet has given us just a handful as a leader – which is quite a shame, as his work on an album like this is totally great! The pianist has this warmth and flow right from the start – the kind of understated accompaniment he can bring to others, but which really sparkles out in the lead here – in the company of bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Anthony Pinciotti – who both often really let Mark take off, and overwhelm the proceedings with his many charms! Soskin's work on the keys often is so effortless, it might be easy to miss the subtle shadings and personality he brings to the music – but we're guessing that, like us, you'll be grabbed by the album right away. Titles include a great version of Luiz Eca's "The Dolphin", plus the Soskin originals "Hearts & Minds" and "Slider" – plus takes on "If I Should Lose You", "Sometime Ago", "Eiderdown", and "Old Folks". ~ Dusty Groove