The Joyful Virtuosity of Anat Cohen e Choro Aventuroso
Eight years ago Anat Cohen captivated the audience in the Puerto Rico Jazz Fest accompanying pianist George Wein. Last sunday, November 11th at the Centro de Bellas Artes de Puerto Rico, Cohen did it again, but this time with her brazilian music group Choro Aventuroso.
There's no doubt about Anat Cohen virtuosity, as proved in both presentations. What set Anat Cohen apart from other virtuosic musicians is the joy she gets out of playing the clarinet, and how much she enjoys listening to her partners on stage. The joy she gets out of performing is the same joy people get out of listening to her music. At times Cohen gets so caught up in the performance of the others musicians, she becomes just one of us at the audience.
The musicians of Choro Aventuroso are, Nando Duarte on the 7 strings acoustic guitar, Sergio Krakowski on the pandeiro, Yotam Silberstein on electric guitar and of course, Anat Cohen on clarinet.
Anat Cohen e Choro Aventuroso opened with the wonderful classic composition by Jacob de Bandolim, Noites Cariocas. Anat beatiful tone and flawless phrasing on this first piece and all throughout the concert proved why she is considered one, if not the best clarinetist in recent years.
Cochichando was the first of three Pixinguinha compositions played by Choro Aventuroso. Sergio Krakowski had his first moment to show his abbility and technique on the pandeiro. Amazing how much Sergio can do in terms of rhythm with just a pandeiro.
On Jacob de Bandolim Assanhao it was Yotam Silberstein moment to show his great improvisational skills on the electric guitar. An incredible fact is that Yotam (a long time friend of Anat) was a last minute substitute and not the guitarist who was supposed to play with Anat e Choro Aventuroso. To us in the audience seems like they've been playing together for years.
The seductive sounds of the Maxixe, also known as tango brasileiro, on Pixinguinha composition Cheguei, gave the pandeiro another opportunity to shine.
Anat Cohen is not only a master clarinetist, she is also an excellent composer as demonstrated on the beautiful melodies of Valsa do Sul. Anat e Choro Aventuroso showed their mellow side on Choro Negro by one of my favorites brazilian composers, Paulinho de Viola. Choro Negro is a composition with the nostalgic feel expected from Paulinho da Viola, in contrast with the festive feel of Hermeto Pasqual Chorinho Pra Ele, full of fast melody runs and danceable rhythms.
Waiting for Amalia, an Anat Cohen composition dedicated to her niece, showcase Anat long time fascination with brazilian music. The beautiful, almost lullaby sounds of Valsa para Alice, shows once again Choro Aventuroso mellow side. Yotam ends the piece with a melodic quote of Paulinho da Viola Carinhoso.
After the short joyful piece Ginga do Mané, another Jacob do Bandolim composition, the next two themes were a tribute to the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. Sivuca composition Um Tom para Jobim, with another amazing pandeiro solo gave way to the Jobim classic Chega de Saudade, ending with a melodic reference to Charlie Parker's Salt Peanuts.
The next song was Pixinguinha Um a Zero, a composition celebrating the glory days of brazilian soccer. After a well deserved standing ovation, Choro Aventuroso came back to the stage to play Jacob de Bandolim Santa Morena.
No doubt it was worth the eight years wait for Anat Cohen. Thanks Anat Cohen e Choro Aventuroso and the people of Pro Arte Musical for one of the best concerts in recent years.