Live in Healdsburg Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch
- 1A Lark (Live)08:22
- 2Child's Song (Live)07:20
- 3The Purple Piece (Live)08:27
- 4Isfahan (Live)08:05
- 5Lee's Dream (Live)05:18
- 6The Peacocks (Live)10:24
- 7Jitterbug Waltz (Live)08:18
- 8Mood Indigo (Live)05:13
Info for Live in Healdsburg
On their debut recording as a duo Live In Healdsburg, Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch, two of most prolific and celebrated artists in jazz today display qualities they have in abundance: empathy, open hearts, big ears, quick instincts, and an ego-less approach to the music. These two expert collaborators combine virtuosity and beauty, which permeates every note they play. Live In Healdsburg comes on the heels of Anat's Tentet recording, Happy Song, and her two Grammy nominated Brazilian albums, Outra Coisa: The Music of Moacir Santos (with 7-string guitarist Marcello Gonçalves) and Rosa Dos Ventos (with Trio Brasileiro). For Fred Hersch, Live In Healdsburg is the follow up recording to his latest CD, the double Grammy nominated Open Book (his 7th and 8th nominations). This album with Ms. Cohen is the latest release in a stunningly deep discography that dates back to the 1980s and encompasses more than twenty albums as a leader, and the publication of his autobiography Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz.
"Hersch occasionally dips into pointillism and even barrelhouse for dramatic and/or witty effect. And Ms Cohen is not above jamming a Delta blues smear tone into a finger-busting legit run. Their staccato fun in A Lark seems to refer more to Great Expectations (“What larks, Pip”) than to feathered flight. The jagged descending dragon’s tail melody of the 76-year-old Jitterbug Waltz appears in mosaic fragments: alternating short, pithy phrases with distant echoes of rent parties. In contrast, their approach to The Peacocks theme (and the exquisite closing clarinet cadenza) is befittingly stately. Jimmy Rowles would have been chuffed." (londonjazznews.com)
Anat Cohen, clarinet
Fred Hersch, piano
Recorded Live at Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Raven Performing Arts Theater, Healdsburg CA, June 11th 2016
Recorded by Steve Moon
Rebalanced and Mastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, NYC, January 2018
Produced by Anat Cohen and Oded Lev-Ari
Ever charismatic, prolific and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. The New York Times writes, “Ms. Cohen on the clarinet was a revelation. Using the clarinet’s upper register, she could evoke infectious joy. In the lower register, her playing could conjure a deep, soulful melancholy. On up-tempo numbers, her improvisations weren’t just bebop fast; they had a clarity and deep intelligence that is really quite rare. She made it look effortless, even as she was playing the most technically difficult of all the reed instruments… she took my breath away.”
Anat has been declared Clarinetist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association every year since 2007 and has also been named the top clarinetist in both the readers and critics polls in DownBeat for multiple years running. That’s not to mention years of being named Rising Star in the soprano and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat, as well as Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2009, ASCAP awarded Anat a Wall of Fame prize for composition and musicianship, among other honors. As The Chicago Tribune has said about Anat, “The lyric beauty of her tone, easy fluidity of her technique and extroverted manner of her delivery make this music accessible to all.”
Since 2005, Anat’s series of releases via her Anzic Records label have seen the clarinetist-saxophonist range from infectious swingers to lilting balladry, from small groups to larger ensembles and back again, exploring a universe of music along the way.
One June 14, 2019 the Anat Cohen Tentet reached a new crest in its evolution with its second recording - Triple Helix. The album’s centerpiece is a three-movement concerto composed for Cohen and the Tentet, by her longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari, the Tentet’s musical director and Cohen’s producer/label partner at Anzic. Commissioned by New York’s Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Center for live world premieres earlier in 2019, “Triple Helix” won raves from The Chicago Tribune as “a work of considerable expressive reach” and a “sensuous tonal palette,” with Cohen “sounding like a musician transformed.” Those qualities are abundantly evident in the album version, conducted by Lev-Ari as he also did onstage in New York and Chicago, highlighting Cohen at her most “fresh, sophisticated and daring” (JazzTimes). The Tentet features a vibrant mix of ace New York players – Nadje Noordhuis (Trumpet, Flugelhorn) Nick Finzer (Trombone), Owen Browder (Baritone Saxophone), Christopher Hoffman (Cello), Vitor Gonçalves (piano, accordion), Sheryl Bailey (Guitar), Tal Mashiach (Bass), James Shipp (Vibraphone, Percussion) and Anthony Pinciotti (drums).
In between large ensemble recordings, in March 2018 Anat and the acclaimed pianist Fred Hersch released their debut duo recording - Live in Healdsburg of which Nate Chinen (WBGO) proclaimed “a beautiful document of mutual exchange, rooted in melody but alert to every possibility”
In October 2017 –Happy Song – the debut release from the Tentet found her drawing on diverse musical loves, from Brazilian music to African grooves, from vintage swing to touching ballads. In many ways, Happy Song carried on from an initial highpoint of her discography, 2007’s sumptuous Noir, which saw Anat weave her various horns through the all-star Anzic Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Lev-Ari. Billboard magazine marveled over the “cinematic feel” of Noir, with The Washington Post praising Lev-Ari’s arrangements as “wonderfully textured and evocative.” The Tentet of Happy Song boasts a different sort of richness, one that’s full but also fleet and fizzing, with an open, jazzy energy. The beautiful arrangements are by both Anat and Lev-Ari, with the latter directing the band.
Earlier in her especially fertile 2017, Anat continued her love affair with Brazilian sounds by releasing two albums simultaneously via Anzic: Outra Coisa: The Music of Moacir Santos (with 7-String guitarist Marcello Gonçalves) and Rosa Dos Ventos (with Trio Brasileiro: percussionist Alexandre Lora, 7-String guitarist Douglas Lora and mandolinist Dudu Maia). Both recordings were made in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia and went on to receive Grammy Award nominations in Best World Music and Best Latin Jazz albums. All About Jazz praised both records at length, saying that together they made for “one brilliant bonanza of Brazilian music from one of the greatest clarinetists of our time… Cohen’s magnetism and musicality, married with the accents of Brazil and the skills of her accomplished colleagues, makes for something incredibly special on these dates. Add both of these albums to the glowing list of recordings in her discography.” The praise didn’t only come from the jazz world, with Brazilian Press saying: “Anat is an Israeli who seems like a Brazilian when she plays samba.”
Anat was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and raised into a musical family. She attended the Tel Aviv School for the Arts, the "Thelma Yellin" High School for the Arts and the Jaffa Music Conservatory. Anat began clarinet studies at age 12 and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland band. At 16, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play the tenor saxophone; it was this same year that Anat entered the prestigious Thelma Yellin school, where she majored in jazz. After graduation, she discharged her mandatory Israeli military service duty from 1993-95, playing tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force band.
Through the World Scholarship Tour, Anat was able to attend the Berklee College of Music, where she not only honed her jazz chops but also expanded her musical horizons, developing a deep love and facility for various Latin music styles. During her Berklee years, Anat visited New York City during semester breaks, making a beeline for the West Village club Smalls to soak up a melting pot of jazz, contemporary grooves and world music in a scene that included such future collaborators as Jason Lindner, Omer Avital and Daniel Freedman. Moving to New York in 1999 after graduating from Berklee, Anat spent a decade touring with Sherrie Maricle’s all-woman big band, The Diva Jazz Orchestra; she also worked in such Brazilian groups as the Choro Ensemble and Duduka Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet, along with performing the music of Louis Armstrong with David Ostwald’s “Gully Low Jazz Band.” Anat soon began to bend ears and turn heads; whether playing clarinet, soprano saxophone or tenor saxophone, she won over the most knowing of jazz sages: Nat Hentoff praised her “bursting sound and infectious beat,” Dan Morgenstern her “gutsy, swinging” style, Ira Gitler her “liquid dexterity and authentic feeling,” and Gary Giddins her musicality “that bristles with invention.”
In 2009, Anat became the first Israeli to headline at the Village Vanguard, the setting for perhaps the most celebrated live recordings in jazz history; the occasion yielded the 2010 release Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard, which captured the leader paying tribute to Benny Goodman and leading a hard-swinging combo with all-stars Benny Green, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. Calling Anat “one to watch,” NPR underscored the contemporary approach the group took to the Goodman book: “Cohen and company treat 1920s and ’30s material with a relatively free hand; when they get rolling in ‘Sweet Georgia Brown,’ her rhythm section echoes the thunder of John Coltrane’s quartet.”
Anat has also recorded four acclaimed albums as part of the 3 Cohens Sextet with her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai: 2003’s One, 2007’s Braid, 2011’s Family and 2013’s Tightrope (with the last three released by Anzic). The three siblings – with Anat the middle child to the elder Yuval and younger Avishai – graced the cover of the January 2012 issue of DownBeat, and among the international acclaim for the recent Tightrope had the Financial Times marveling over its “emotional sweep.” The album features the 3 Cohens improvising as an a cappella horn choir as well as teaming with such special guests as Fred Hersch and Christian McBride.
Anat has collaborated regularly with one of her heroes, Cuban-American clarinetist-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, who introduced her onstage at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in the Jazz at Lincoln Center complex as “one of the greatest players ever of the clarinet.” Having first appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2007, she had the honor of being the music director for the Newport Jazz Festival Now 60! all-star band that toured the U.S. on the occasion of the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2014. In 2017, Anat played all the major European festivals as part of the all-star, all-female band called ARTEMIS alongside the likes of Renée Rosnes and Cécile McLorin Salvant. She has also toured in a duo with acclaimed pianist Fred Hersch, as well as with iconic Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.
However easy Anat makes it seem onstage, the mastery of any great art is a long, elusive challenge, and she teaches the fine points of jazz and the music of Brazil to budding students across North America, including recent residencies at Stanford, Oberlin, Michigan State University, University of California-San Diego, the Centrum Choro Workshop and California Brazil Camp. About her experiences onstage, in the classroom or just engaging with her listeners, Anat says: “Any day when I get to share music with people – other musicians, an audience – feels like a celebration to me.” (Bradley Bambarger)
A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. He has been proclaimed “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair, “an elegant force of musical invention” by The L.A. Times, and “a living legend” byThe New Yorker.
A twelve-time Grammy nominee, Hersch has regularly garnered jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, 2016 and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2017 Prix Honorem de Jazz from L’Acádemie Charles Cros for the totality of his career.
If good things happen slowly, as the title of Hersch’s 2017 memoir attests, such good fortune has nonetheless accrued to the point where the pianist can enjoy the accolades and adulation of peers, critics and audiences alike. He has long set the standard for expressive interpretation and inventive creativity in a stunning variety of settings, whether through his exquisite solo performances, as the leader of one of jazz’s era-defining trios, or in eloquent dialogue with his deeply attuned duo partners.
With more than three-dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch consistently receives lavish critical praise and numerous international awards for each highly anticipated new release. His latest album with his long-standing trio, 2018’s Live In Europe(Palmetto), documents one remarkable evening in Brussels and has been hailed as its best to date – considerable praise for an ensemble that consistently plays at such a staggeringly high level.
The trio, in which Hersch has been joined by bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson for the last decade, was voted the #2 Jazz Group in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll, recognizing its unique ability to traverse a wide range of styles and approaches while maintaining profound depths of emotion and the exhilarating spark of invention. Its previous two Palmetto releases, 2016’s Sunday Night at the Vanguardand 2014’s Floating, were both nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Album.
Also in 2014, Hersch garnered his sixth Grammy nomination for his solo on “Duet” from Free Flying, a duo album with guitarist Julian Lage that received a rare 5-star rating from DownBeat. An exceptionally responsive and intuitive collaborator, Hersch has engaged in duo partnerships with a number of spirited artists, including Anat Cohen, Bill Frisell, Esperanza Spalding, Julian Lage and Miguel Zenon; and vocalists Kurt Elling, Kate McGarry and Renée Fleming.
As versatile and exploratory as his trio and duo excursions can be, nowhere is the boundless range and emotional diversity of Hersch’s artistry as evident as in his breathtaking solo performances. JazzTimes has hailed his unaccompanied playing as “a complete, self-sufficient, uniquely pure art form,” while All About Jazzhas remarked that “when it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else.”
In 2006, Hersch became the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play a weeklong engagement as a solo pianist. His second solo run there was documented on the Grammy-nominated Alone at the Vanguard, one of five recordings he’s made at the iconic New York City club. His 2017 Palmetto album Open Book was, as the title implies, his most revealing and intimate solo outing, and was nominated for two 2018 Grammy Awards.
The album’s release coincided with the publication of his acclaimed memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly(Crown Archetype Books/Random House). The book compellingly reveals the story of his life in music along with a frank recounting of his struggles and triumphs as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician. It was featured in the Sunday New York Timesand on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” named one of 2017’s Five Best Memoirs by the Washington Postand The New York Times, and acclaimed as 2018’s Book on Jazz of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. His story has also been told via the feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch, which premiered to a sold-out house at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 and is now streaming on Vimeo.
While widely renowned for his playing, Hersch has earned similar distinction with his writing, garnering a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition among other awards. The same year he created Leaves of Grass, a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet. Leaves of Grasswas selected to open the 2017 Jazz at Lincoln Center season at the Appel Room.
Hersch’s visionary 2010 theatrical project, My Coma Dreams,prompted the New York Times Sunday Magazine to describe the composer as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz—a jazz for the 21st century.” Based on visions Hersch experienced during a two-month coma in 2008, the evening-length multimedia collaboration with writer/director Herschel Garfein for 11 instrumentalists and an actor/singer was captured on video at Columbia University and released by Palmetto on a 2014 DVD.
For two decades Hersch has been a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and in numerous concerts for charities including Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To date, his efforts have raised more than $300,000. He has also been a keynote speaker and performer at international medical conferences in the U.S. and Europe.
A committed educator, Hersch has taught at New England Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The New School and The Manhattan School of Music. He is currently a Visiting Artist at Rutgers University. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Grinnell College and Northern Kentucky University. Hersch’s influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists, from former students Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson to his colleague Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”