Onstage and on record, the music of Anat Cohen positively glows—with virtuosity, with charisma, with the sheer joy of creation—and never more brightly than on her seventh CD as a bandleader, “Luminosa.” The disc sees the clarinetist/saxophonist play singing, dancing originals, interpret Brazilian classics by the likes of Milton Nascimento, and even re-imagine electronica as acoustica. Members of Anat’s touring quartet—keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman—appear on the album, as do guest guitarists Romero Lubambo and Gilad Hekselman and the Brazilian players from her new band Choro Adventuroso.
Warren Vache is ideally and nearly uniquely qualified to interpret the music of Benny Carter. He was one of Benny’s favorite musicians and they played together at numerous festivals over the years. The genesis of a new project, “The Warren Vache Quintet Remembers Benny Carter,” happened when Carter’s widow asked Vache to headline a tribute concert in Connecticut, the success of which made the cornetist decide to put together a disc featuring largely the same band as had played in concert. Saxophonist Harry Allen was not available, however, so Vache called on the veteran reedman Houston Person to sit in.
Also this week, Grammy Award-winning bassist Mark Egan unveils “Direction Home,” the second release from his all-star contemporary jazz trio featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Mitchel Forman; vocalist Cassandra Wilson delves into the Billie Holiday songbook in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lady Day with “Coming Forth By Day”; and guitarist Steve Watson offers up a fresh fusion of down-home Memphis blues and soul and melodic jazz on “Heat It Up.”