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Avishai Cohen - Big Vicious

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Big Vicious

Avishai Cohen, Big Vicious

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On his fourth date for ECM, trumpeter Avishai Cohen leads a band he formed with friends after returning to Israel in 2013. The electro-acoustic ensemble includes guitarists Uzi Ramirez and Yonatan Albalak (also on electric bass) and drummers Aviv Cohen and Ziv Ravitz (who also did the live studio sampling); they deliver a program of nine originals and two covers. It is easily the most accessible album of Cohen's career thus far, in that it will likely appeal to listeners not normally drawn to jazz. There are several reasons for this. First is that Cohen's writing is songlike. The melodies are often hummable and there are many different stylistic forays into psychedelic rock, R&B and funk, Hebrew folk, and sound system electronica. It was cut over three days at Studios La Buissonne in France and produced by Manfred Eicher. Opener "Honey Fountain" commences with a sonar ping followed by a bassline and a skeletal double-time shuffle as Cohen enters with a lithe, flowing midtempo ballad and the electric guitars commingle behind him with atmospheric slide and airy fingerpicking. Though "Hidden Chamber" reveals some trumpet abstraction, it quickly evolves into a somber processional with staggered, shimmering guitars, a wave of ambient electronica, and whispering cymbals framing a mournful melody. The lyric line is carried even as the tune's intensity ramps up with rumbling basslines and sine-wave synths, all without losing the somber martial flavor. "King Kutner" is a rock tune with bluesy lead guitar and a popping bassline framed by snare breaks and a punchy kick drum. Its chorus nods directly at Heart's "Crazy on You" before Cohen enters to take it afield before falling in line. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is a complete reinvention, although it remains recognizable. The guitars are used impressionistically: one plays flamenco lines around Cohen's horn on the melody, and the other creates an open harmonic system as the snare holds down a basic beat with few embellishments. The other cover is Massive Attack's "Teardrop." Its reverbed drums and treated guitars flit across the foreground weightlessly as the bassline, synths, and samples find room to hover in the margin. Cohen's harmonic articulation of Liz Fraser's lyric line is a revelation: At its root, it's eerily similar to Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy." The kick drums and tom-toms assume a dubwise flavor, adding heft to the sparse six-string embellishments before the tune travels off into trip-hop land and then returns with more complex textural dimensions. "The Things You Tell Me" is a hooky, Bill Frisell-esque Americana tune that slips in a quote from the intro to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." "This Time Is Different" is bumping, swinging, jazz-funk with great soloing from Cohen. "Teno Neno" emerges from mid-'70s soul with whammy-bar guitars, space, and a melody that resonates like a seductive love song. This band is one to keep an eye on if you have catholic tastes. Big Vicious wanders freely between its many influences to emerge with a compelling identity of its own.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Big Vicious

Avishai Cohen

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1
Honey Fountain
00:04:34

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Composer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
Hidden Chamber
00:04:42

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Sampler, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
King Kutner
00:04:10

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
Moonlight Sonata
00:05:30

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
Fractals
00:03:32

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Sampler, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Composer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
Teardrop
00:07:23

Grantley Marshall, ComposerLyricist - Elizabeth Fraser, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Vowles, ComposerLyricist - Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Del Naja, ComposerLyricist - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
The Things You Tell Me
00:03:12

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
This Time It’s Different
00:03:20

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Composer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
Teno Neno
00:06:03

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Composer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
The Cow & The Calf
00:03:55

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Composer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
Intent
00:04:02

Gerard De Haro, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Avishai Cohen, Composer, Trumpet, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Ziv Ravitz, Drums, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Romain castera, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aviv Cohen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Yonatan Albalak, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Big Vicious, MainArtist - Uzi Ramirez Feinerman, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

On his fourth date for ECM, trumpeter Avishai Cohen leads a band he formed with friends after returning to Israel in 2013. The electro-acoustic ensemble includes guitarists Uzi Ramirez and Yonatan Albalak (also on electric bass) and drummers Aviv Cohen and Ziv Ravitz (who also did the live studio sampling); they deliver a program of nine originals and two covers. It is easily the most accessible album of Cohen's career thus far, in that it will likely appeal to listeners not normally drawn to jazz. There are several reasons for this. First is that Cohen's writing is songlike. The melodies are often hummable and there are many different stylistic forays into psychedelic rock, R&B and funk, Hebrew folk, and sound system electronica. It was cut over three days at Studios La Buissonne in France and produced by Manfred Eicher. Opener "Honey Fountain" commences with a sonar ping followed by a bassline and a skeletal double-time shuffle as Cohen enters with a lithe, flowing midtempo ballad and the electric guitars commingle behind him with atmospheric slide and airy fingerpicking. Though "Hidden Chamber" reveals some trumpet abstraction, it quickly evolves into a somber processional with staggered, shimmering guitars, a wave of ambient electronica, and whispering cymbals framing a mournful melody. The lyric line is carried even as the tune's intensity ramps up with rumbling basslines and sine-wave synths, all without losing the somber martial flavor. "King Kutner" is a rock tune with bluesy lead guitar and a popping bassline framed by snare breaks and a punchy kick drum. Its chorus nods directly at Heart's "Crazy on You" before Cohen enters to take it afield before falling in line. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is a complete reinvention, although it remains recognizable. The guitars are used impressionistically: one plays flamenco lines around Cohen's horn on the melody, and the other creates an open harmonic system as the snare holds down a basic beat with few embellishments. The other cover is Massive Attack's "Teardrop." Its reverbed drums and treated guitars flit across the foreground weightlessly as the bassline, synths, and samples find room to hover in the margin. Cohen's harmonic articulation of Liz Fraser's lyric line is a revelation: At its root, it's eerily similar to Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy." The kick drums and tom-toms assume a dubwise flavor, adding heft to the sparse six-string embellishments before the tune travels off into trip-hop land and then returns with more complex textural dimensions. "The Things You Tell Me" is a hooky, Bill Frisell-esque Americana tune that slips in a quote from the intro to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." "This Time Is Different" is bumping, swinging, jazz-funk with great soloing from Cohen. "Teno Neno" emerges from mid-'70s soul with whammy-bar guitars, space, and a melody that resonates like a seductive love song. This band is one to keep an eye on if you have catholic tastes. Big Vicious wanders freely between its many influences to emerge with a compelling identity of its own.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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