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Dramatic, yet gracefully buoyant, new album from Avishai Cohen is a must-listen

“Cross My Palm With Silver” by Avishai Cohen
“Cross My Palm With Silver” by Avishai Cohen ECM Records

Trumpeter and composer Avishai Cohen possesses one of most beautiful tones on his instrument as anyone playing today. Though he often was heard and seen here during his long tenure with the SFJAZZ Collective, Cohen has displayed a more measured sensibility with his recent recordings with ECM. The label is famous for its distinctive, cool “European” sound, which might have seemed at odds with Cohen’s bluesy soulfulness. “Into the Silence” (2016) was composed in the months following his father’s death, and it maintains a studied, reverential mood throughout. His latest recording, “Cross My Palm With Silver,” has no less dramatic import as he reflects on social injustice in the world. Still, there is a graceful buoyancy in the music. Produced by Manfred Eicher and recorded at Studios La Buissonne in the south of France, the album includes Cohen’s longtime collaborators Yonathan Avishai on piano, Barak Mori on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.

“Cross My Palm With Silver” is available in various formats from retailers including Amazon.com.

Marcus Crowder

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