What does it sound like?:
How does a jazz trumpeter escape from the long shadow cast by Miles Davis? Avishai Cohen doesn’t even try. He acknowledges the debt and embraces it. The result is refreshing. It’s a long time since a mute was applied without trepidation nor embarrassment, as Cohen does on the opening ballad, Life And Death.
Into The Silence is a quintessential ECM album, Cohen’s first for the label as bandleader. It’s immaculate, perfectly balanced and exudes class. It lives up to the label motto; “the most beautiful sound next to silence”. At first glance of the track list, the subject matter is also typically ECM. Cohen wrote the music after his father’s death while listening to Rachmaninov piano solos. Don’t let that put you off, however, as this music is buoyant and perkily played.
Cohen has gathered a quartet of trusted collaborators to keep his father’s memory alive. He is careful to ensure that the musician blend works for the material and that each individual gets their moment in the spotlight. Yonathon Avishai’s piano sparkles like pure sunshine. His solo on Dream Like A Child approaches a suitably Rachmaninov rapture. Eric Revis, on bass, has played with drummer, Nasheet Waits, a long time and knows exactly how to rein in his natural flamboyance. For three of the six pieces, Bill McHenry joins in on saxophone. He does so selflessly, mostly absorbing himself into the core ensemble sound, the interplay with Cohen being reminiscent of Wayne Shorter and Miles in the sixties. He is allowed a beautifully timed solo on Behind The Broken Glass.
By the time Yonathon gently sees out the album with a Life And Death Epilogue, all thoughts of Miles Davis are banished by the realisation that this is emotional, ruminative music performed by a wonderful group of improvising musicians. Into The Silence is deeply satisfying. I’m certain Avishai’s father would be very proud.
What does it all *mean*?
2016 is looking like another good year for Jazz.
Goes well with…
Quiet contemplation, simply allowing the music to form shapes and ideas in your head.
Might suit people who like…
This is an ECM Jazz album. I think you know the score.