Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shlomi Cohen Breather 2013

Grammy nominated Shlomi Cohen does not simply transcend genre, he creates his own!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
What is jazz? What is world music? Both jazz and world music are generic umbrella terms used to categorize the various forms and functionality of improvisational music. Grammy nominated Shlomi Cohen deconstructs the norm of what we refer to as jazz in the United States and creates a global fusion of sound that celebrates his own cultural DNA that embraces his Israeli and Moroccan roots. What makes the release Breather special is that this uniquely personal hybrid is executed within a more traditional contemporary instrumental format. Unlike those that have attempted this daring brand of global fusion, there is no harmonic disconnect. The end result is an open ended cultural explosion of sound that defies categorization of the paralysis by analysis that most critics are far too often guilty of exercising in their attempt to fit a square peg in a round hole. Smashing the cultural glass ceiling makes Breather a critics worst nightmare as it breaks from convention but it is this wildly creative work that should endear it to record executives across the board.  

While the epicenter of this work is essentially grounded in Jewish music both traditional and current there is a smoldering percussive pop, a visceral heartbeat consisting of the rhythmic nuances from both Morocco and Yemeni. Most artists that attempt to bring more traditional world music to a more accessible stage wind up getting in their own way and an obvious harmonic disconnect occurs normally forcing the listener into the lyrical no mans land of pretentious overkill, not here. Shlomi Cohen has that rare ability to move past the technical authenticity of the music and to instead celebrate the highly emotional and soul stirring melodies that permeate this stellar offering. "Anouim" is a intimate yet powerful piece with an almost cinematic type grandeur while "Tzur" fully explores the mash up of styles, textures, and colors that are the focal point not just for this particular composition but for the entire release.

The great comedian Martin Mull once stated that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Shlomi Cohen is the epitome of why I rarely write the more traditional dry as dust technical analysis of a work. Music is from soul. The creative process and artistic integrity can not be accurately graded on a purely technical scale. Shlomi Cohen is as technically gifted as he is artistically proficient. Not only is Breather a groundbreaking release for improvisational music, this is a release that will have an immediate impact on saxophone literature worldwide. There are thousands of performers that can play the notes, Shlomi Cohen makes the music.

1.Ani Maamin / Abie Rotenberg 2.Anovim / Yossi Green 3.Lulei / Mona Rosenblum 4.Achenu /Abie Rotenberg 5.Adon Haslichot / Traditioanl 6.Mama Rochel / Abie Rotenberg 7.Misirlou / Traditional
8.Eli Ata / Traditional 9.Od Yeshvu / Yossi Green 10.Tzur / Traditional

Personnel: Shlomi Cohen: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone Saxophones, Duduk, Clarinet, Yamaha WX5 Wind Controller, Programming, Producer; Eran Asias: Drums; Panagiotis Andreou: Bass; Oz Noy: Guitars; Eldad Zitrin: Piano: 2,4,5,6,8, Hammon B3: 5,9; Ruslan Sirota: Keys (1); Shai Bachar: Piano (9), Keys (3), Ruslan Agababayev: Piano 8,10, Additional Keys 2; Gonzalo Grau: Piano 7; Yohai Cohon: Percussion 2,5,7,8,10, Vox 8; Albert Leusink: Trumpet 7; Ian Freitor: Additional Keys, Programming, Producer.

For More Information http://shlomicohen.com/new-album/