Jazz has a long history of taking popular songs of the day and making them vehicles for improvisation. Organist Joey DeFrancesco's current exploration of the music associated with Michael Jackson, "Never Can Say Goodbye", is merely the latest addition to the list. Though this music is linked with the undisputed "King of Pop," this is jazz at its finest. Jackson and his music have become part of the American landscape every bit as much as the singers that preceded him and the songs, as DeFrancesco's spirited readings bear witness to, give themselves smartly to an improvisatory approach.
The ensemble Triveni is the perfect conduit for the musical explorations of Avishai Cohen, who takes full advantage of the space and freedom this piano-less trio affords. Drawing from hard-bop, straight-up funk, and avant-garde, drummer Nasheet Waits, bassist Omer Avital and trumpeter Cohen effortlessly move from the American songbook to standards and Cohen's original compositions on "Introducing Triveni." Cohen's sometimes provocative and always soulful playing has never sounded so assured as he continues to establish himself as one of his generation's leading musical voices.