Anat Cohen: Live At The Village Vanguard Reedwoman Anat Cohen totes a clarinet and two saxophones, and plays them in modern jazz, traditional revues and every Afro-Latin hybrid imaginable. She'll do all that and more in this live broadcast.

Anat Cohen: Live At The Village Vanguard

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/95879047/96015380" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

It's not quite enough to say that Anat Cohen has many interests in jazz. To start, she plays three instruments: clarinet and both soprano and tenor saxes. Then she plays them in various and sundry settings, including modern jazz, traditional ensembles, classical music and every type of Afro-Latin hybrid imaginable: Argentinian, Brazilian, pan-Caribbean and so on. And when Anat Cohen plays with her quartet, she funnels all of her interests into spirited original compositions. That group visited New York's Village Vanguard for a live performance, broadcast on air by WBGO and online at NPR Music.

As with her well-received new album Notes From the Village, Cohen stuck largely to her clarinet, which sounded alternately dark and warm or playful and sprightly. The quartet led off with a slew of 20th-century touchstones, all reworked as melodic modern jazz: Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz," Ernesto Lecuona's "Siboney," Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." But, as always with Cohen, variety was the order of the night. She brought out both saxes as the evening went on, as the quartet referenced everything from African thumb piano to danceable rock grooves. With her were longtime collaborator Jason Lindner on piano (his paper in the strings creates the effect on "Washington Square Park"), spacious-sounding bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman, who seemed to serve up a different groove at every turn.

Born and raised in Israel, Cohen learned American jazz styles in Tel Aviv conservatories and high schools; she later fulfilled her military service mandate by playing tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force band. In 1996, she came to Boston to study at the esteemed Berklee College of Music; by the time she made the permanent move to New York, she was already hooked on the many different types of Latin rhythms she's since brought to prominence.

Over the last several years, Cohen's star has risen sharply in the jazz world. No doubt this has much to do with her prolific recorded output of late: In the last four years, she's released four albums as a leader, plus two records as a member of Choro Ensemble (dedicated to Brazilian music), a CD with the young collective Waverly Seven, and the second album from 3 Cohens — the Cohen siblings' band. Critics have remarked on both her diversity of styles and her proficiency in all of them.

"Each kind of music has so many different sides and elements that you can really go bigger and groovy and heavy, or delicate and more classical," Cohen told NPR's Liane Hansen in 2007. "And I'm not really sure what will be the next one. If it will be a crazy or delicate [project], I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out."

Cohen's new recording, Notes From the Village, captures her quartet (and guests) in a mix of fetching originals and keenly reworked classics. As for the CD's title, it alludes to Cohen's residence in New York's Greenwich Village — a short walk away from the Village Vanguard, where she made her debut in the summer of 2007.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Liz Magnes Courtesy of Liz Magnes hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Liz Magnes

Liz Magnes On Piano Jazz

Revisit the Israeli jazz pianist's set of classics and originals, featuring a song performed with host Marian McPartland in this 1997 episode.

Liz Magnes On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/580318597/580396172" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart/Jazz At Lincoln Center

Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We join the pianist at his loft in SoHo to talk about his upbringing in Cincinnati, late-night gigs in New York, his recovery from a coma in 2008, and his adaptation of Walt Whitman's poetry.

Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/578894724/579216920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Massimo Photographe/Courtesy of the artist

Lorraine Desmarais On Piano Jazz

The award-winning jazz artist performs original compositions and a set of standards during this 1991 episode.

Lorraine Desmarais On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/575768260/575921729" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

David Murray performs at Winter Jazzfest 2015. John Rogers for NPR hide caption

toggle caption John Rogers for NPR

A David Murray Double Bill

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific tenor saxophonist returned to New York this winter to present a four-clarinet summit and a new trio with Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington.

This year, we bade farewell to avant-garde pioneer Muhal Richard Abrams. Michael Hoefner/Wikipedia hide caption

toggle caption Michael Hoefner/Wikipedia

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Friends of our program honor a handful of departed artists, celebrating their lives in an episode filled with insight, humor and plenty of music.

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/572421441/572633580" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

The brilliant pianist played church music and R&B before joining Charles Mingus' band and forming his own quartet. He joins Marian McPartland for a song in this 1989 episode.

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/570834686/570846392" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Claudio Roditi, photographed in 1990. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

The versatile trumpeter made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s. Hear him perform with host Marian McPartland in this 1996 episode.

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567716375/567717240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top