Anat Cohen first attracted our attention as a swing-style tenor saxophonist and clarinetist when she was the star soloist with one of the greatest big bands of our time (particularly in the swing mode, which not all of them are), Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Orchestra. In the years since she’s become a major bandleader on her own, she’s expanded heavily into world jazz but without losing any of her hard-swing street cred. She’s made some music that draws on her Tel-Aviv roots upbringing, but, more extensively, she’s been inspired by the sounds of Brazil, from Choro to the Bossa Nova to other forms. Her most recent album with her Tentet, Happy Song (2017), includes not only worldly originals by her fellow Isreali, Oded Lev-Ari, but two homages to Benny Goodman, the greatest of all jazz clarinet icons (and who, perhaps not coincidentally, was Jewish). But that’s just the beginning – amongst the six or so albums she’s released in the last half-decade are Live In Healdsburg, a stunning set of reed-and-piano duets with the formidable Fred Hersch. (This one is especially lovely; both Mr. Hersch and Ms. Cohen record so frequently that it’s hard to name a favorite, yet this is an especially exceptional collaboration.) There’s also Outra Coisa, honoring the legendary Moacir Santos, the composer whom Wynton Marsalis has described as “the Duke Ellington of Brazil.” Taken cumulatively, Miss Cohen is probably the greatest Jewish master of Brazilian music since Stan Getz.
Anat Cohen, clarinet & bass clarinet
Vitor Gonçalves, accordion & piano
Tal Mashiach, bass & guitar
James Shipp, percussion, vibraphone, electronics