Oficial Concerts In collaboration with Villanos del Jazz
The trumpeter Avishai Cohen, is returning to the stage of the Fernán Gómez Theatre. A well-nigh limitless creator, a designer of paths that he himself sets out with his own footsteps, Cohen is an obvious talent on the contemporary jazz scene. Ever since he burst onto the jazz scene at the turn of the millennium, Avishai has dispelled quite a few prejudices and broken a few rules along the way.
Actually, a little over five years ago he broke another rule; the one laid down by the critic Hugues Panassie who was so delighted that Nat King Cole had dispensed with drums in his trios, that he argued in the Bulletin of the Hot Club de France that “more often than not, the instrument was no more than a source of noise”. The fact is that Avishai Cohen has appeared at several venues around the country, accompanied by an instrumental format featuring a double duo of guitar and drums. Shortly afterwards, he changed course again and visited this festival in the autumn with his Big Vicious project. Now he’s back to present his recently released album Naked Truth.
A sidekick of Miles Davis when he was at his coolest and, in a certain sense, of Wynton as well, but above all, of Kenny Wheeler, Avishai Cohen fits the description of a musical omnivore to a T. Having learned the ropes in an era of aesthetic indeterminacy, with extremes plagued by often impossible syntheses and frequently sterile revisions of history, he has successfully imposed his own idea of jazz, largely thanks to his collaborations with leaders of such disparate demands and tastes as pianist Kenny Werner, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, pop singer Keren Ann, and the Mingus Big Band.
While Borges famously argued that the imagination is made of the conventions of memory, Avishai Cohen can well boast of having contradicted that maxim. His work is at its most dynamic when he precisely turns his back on these conventions and distances himself from the commonplaces that others fall into, as if they were the plague. No situation is alien to him. Neither the one that requires the precise touch of a specialist, nor the one that is resolved with a free and spontaneous contribution.
This trumpeter traverses the intricate passages of bop, the realms of the most unpredictable expressionism, and the free spaces of Don Cherry in Art Deco, or the open frontiers of Ornette Coleman in Music News with the same aplomb. We now have the opportunity to see and enjoy all this once again on stage.