After a beautiful introspective debut for the label ECM, Avishai Cohen changes gears with his band Big Vicious. A unique cast around the Israeli trumpeter boasts two drummers (Aviv Cohen and Ziv Ravitz), an electric bass player (Yonatan Albalak) and a guitarist (Uzi Ramirez).
This jazz-wielding quintet grew up with a thousand other sounds in mind. Hence this assembly of plural sound textures from electronic music as well as rock, classical, pop and trip hop.
We are treated to big and improbably leaps, such as the one between Massive Attack and Beethoven, the two names whose works Big Vicious revisits (Teardrop and Moonlight Sonata).
Avishai Cohen sometimes seems to be wearing the clothes of his elders Jon Hassell and Don Ellis. In particular, he tones down his leader's aura to let the quintet advance as one.
It is precisely the homogeneity and atmospheric sound of Big Vicious that makes the whole original. And whether the compositions are trippy (Intent), uptempo (King Kutner) or downright experimental (Fractals), they share a real unique narrative force.
Avishai Cohen gave a One Cover One Word interview to us last year at the time of the release of his album Playing The Room, recorded with his longtime friend Yonathan Avishai. It was an opportunity to understand his musical DNA:
Finally, in 2017 at the magnificent Epau abbey near Le Mans where he was performing in the Europa jazz festival with Nasheet Waits on drums, Yonathan Avishai on the piano and Yoni Zelnik on the double bass, Qobuz asked him about the creation of his album Cross My Palm With Silver and offered us some exclusive snippets of rehearsals. It was an immersive musical experience recorded in 360° thanks to Nokia's OZO+ camera: