The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

Gen­tle Gi­ants Tal Co­hen In­ner Cir­cle Mu­sic Perth pi­anist Tal Co­hen, now US-based, has become an iconic jazz fig­ure, win­ning in 2014 the ex­clu­sive Aus­tralian Freedman Fel­low­ship Award and first place in Detroit’s Na­tional Jazz Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion. This col­lec­tion of his com­po­si­tions and ar­range­ments fea­tures Greg Osby on alto sax, Jamie Oehlers on tenor, Robert Hurst bass and Nate Winn on drums.

First played at Detroit’s Jazz Fes­ti­val, the opener, Miles Davis’s Nardis, with its dra­matic solo bass in­tro, prompted Co­hen’s com­ment that he es­pe­cially liked the deep groove that Hurst and Winn brought to his mu­sic, a groove that’s ap­par­ent through­out. Co­hen’s pi­ano style has its roots in Jewish folk songs and clas­si­cal mu­sic, no­table here in Lo Haya parts one and two. It’s the style he played grow­ing up in Is­rael, be­fore mov­ing to Perth at the age of 16.

Gavetsch is in­spired by an Is­raeli-Euro­pean dish that Co­hen says “brought me many un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ences”. The track be­gins with ab­stract pi­ano and alto sax, de­vel­op­ing into fran­tic runs and drum­ming stabs with in­creas­ingly faster tempo and master­ful pi­ano.

Great PK refers to the Co­hens’ fam­ily dog. Like an ex­cited dog the track bounces with a lively groove and a bop melody line.

On Chopin Meets Abach, af­ter a flow­ing, med­i­ta­tive pi­ano open­ing the alto ar­rives in mys­tic mode, con­tribut­ing an el­e­ment of ro­man­ti­cism. Co­hen nom­i­nates this track as his favourite for its spon­tane­ity.

This al­bum is a suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian artists.

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