Mar 27, 2022
One of the benefits we get as jazz listeners from the inactivity in recording and releasing of music due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the backlog of exciting music that is now coming out. Trumpeter Avishai Cohen describes his album as the outcome of a “two-year meditation.” He had been sitting with the main motif of Naked Truth since the start of Covid, and used the layoff to follow that melody to its inevitable conclusion, an 8 part suite with a spoken ending.
Naked Truth (ECM Records) was recorded by Avishai with his long-time musical comrades — pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Barak Mori and drummer Ziv Ravitz — who share an intuitive understanding, hyper alert to the music’s subtly-changing emphases. Alternately through composed and improvised, Cohen challenged his bandmates to successfully “play nothing,” while at the same time saying everything. To this listener, the challenge was more than met with a stripped-down arrangement and sound.
Avishai was born in Tel Aviv, and is part of the first-family of Israeli jazz, joining his brother Yuval and sister Anat in the jazz world. He plans to reunite with his siblings for some overdue concerts this June, while touring with his quartet and his band Big Vicious throughout 2022-23. Big Vicious had the misfortune of being released in March 2020, and the pandemic derailed plans to tour with Uzi Ramirez (Guitar), Yonatan Albalak (Guitar, Bass), Aviv Cohen (Drums) and Ravitz (Drums, Live Sampling).
Musical selections from Naked Truth, with it’s eight parts unnamed, are Parts 2 and 5, the former of which contains the root melody that Avishai developed into the entire musical statement over time.