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Avishai Cohen & Yonathan Avishai – Playing The Room (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Avishai Cohen & Yonathan Avishai – Playing The Room (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:51 minutes | 772 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM

Playing The Room bears testimony to the long musical friendship of Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai. They began to explore jazz as teenagers in Tel Aviv, and have continued to play together over many years, with Yonathan making important contributions to Avishai’s group albums Into The Silence and Cross My Palm With Silver on ECM.

Their first duo album begins with music composed by the trumpeter and by the pianist and concludes with a touching interpretation of Israeli composer Alexander Argov’s cradle song “Shir Eres”. Along the way, Avishai and Yonathan improvise – freely, playfully, soulfully – on themes from jazz tradition. And, as the album titles implies, they also invite the recording space, the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano, to be part of the sound, making full use of its resonant acoustic properties in a performance with the intimacy and focus of chamber music.

Recorded in September 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher, Playing The Room is available as both audiophile vinyl album and compact disc.’

Piano and trumpet duets are relatively rare. In 1928, while recording Weather Bird, Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines kicked things off, followed much later by Chet Baker and Paul Bley (with Diane in 1985), Tom Harrell and Jacky Terrasson (Moon and Sand in 1991), Martial Solal and Eric le Lann (Portrait in Black and White in 2000), Martial Solal and Dave Douglas (Rue de Seine in 2006), Uri Caine and Paolo Fresu (Things in 2006), Enrico Rava and Stefano Bollani (Rava Plays Rava in 1999 and The Third Man in 2007), Oscar Peterson on five albums (with Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis and Harry “Sweets” Edison), Clark Terry’s One On One in 2000 (with fourteen different pianists!) and, most recently, Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith (A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke in 2016)… Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai have known each other since their teens in Tel Aviv. The pianist even featured on the trumpeter’s two ECM albums, Into the Silence and Cross My Palm With Silver. Their innate complicity allows them to improvise freely, playfully, and intensely on Playing the Room, their first work as a duo. As the title suggests, the two Israelis also incorporate the room – in this case the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI studio in Lugano – into their sound and they make full use of its resonant acoustics. They each sign a theme in turn before embarking on an eclectic repertoire by John Coltrane (Cresent), Duke Ellington (Azalea), Abdullah Ibrahim (Kofifi Blue), Ornette Coleman (Dee Dee), Milt Jackson (Ralph’s New Blues), Alexander Argov (Shir Eres) and Stevie Wonder (Sir Duke). And they transform this heterogeneous programme into utterly moving chamber jazz. – Marc Zisman

1. Waiting for a Woman 04:28
2. Cut Me Some Slack 04:21
3. Liberty Lane 03:42
4. I See You’re in Some Trouble 03:46
5. Backing Off 04:12
6. I Wanna Run Away with You 03:23
7. Backbone 03:03
8. Better Take Care 03:34
9. Falling off the World 03:29
10. Get out of My Head 03:24
11. Running out of Time 03:29

Avishai Cohen (trumpet)
Yonathan Avishai (piano)


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