Anat Cohen Quartet at Miller

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Like the Jonas Brothers, but not at all

The Anat Cohen Quartet played a concert at 8 pm in Miller Theatre on Saturday.  Brazilian choro enthusiast Briana Last was on hand to check out a mix of beats that definitely beat your floormate’s Saturday night DJing.

Anat Cohen absorbs the klezmer of her heritage and cranks out a mix of Afro-beat, Brazilian choro, avant garde jazz, and just about everything in between. She masters whatever woodwind instrument she can get her hands on and it’s clear that the world has started noticing. Her recent rise to the ranks of preeminent jazz musicians along with a disarmingly sweet stage presence and a sick set of heavy hitters—Jason Lindner on piano, Omer Avital on bass, and Daniel Freedman on drums—brought a crowd that filled Miller Theatre to the brim this past Saturday night.

The Quartet introduced a slew of sounds that both complemented and transformed the two-hour set of mostly covers. The traditional jazz training of Lindner added a melodic backdrop to the hard and fast funk of New York native Freedman. Cohen alternated between her clarinet, tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone without blinking an eye, and perhaps even adding a shimmy or two. The music was alive, and aside from Avital’s sometimes less-than-sparkly additions, the band couldn’t have been tighter. Avital redeemed himself during his solo on the Abdullah Ibrahim number. Even Cohen let out a chuckle when he turned around an otherwise smooth ballad into an Afro-beat tune, only to let the song return to its natural course.

There was no doubt that Cohen stole the show with her melodic overtones, contagious laugh, and tributes to world peace. Freedman was a close second and his composition “Brothers,” the performance’s finale was by far the most nuanced original piece of the evening. We hope Cohen wasn’t joshing us when she told the audience that we were her favorite yet. Hopefully that means Miller will be welcoming back her and her phenomenal accompanying musicians soon.

Voices of a generation via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. clarinetist  

    Does the writer of this article know the name of the ballad Cohen played with Avital alone, it was a choro after the pianist left the stage and didn't come back in time for the next number... ps this concert was great!

  2. Virgilio Urbina  

    I may be mistaken, but I believe she was not playing a tenor saxophone during this concert... I thought her trio was composed of a clarinet, an alto sax, and a soprano sax.

  3. Anonymous

    She was alternating between clarinet, SOPRANO sax, and TENOR sax

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