Avishai Cohen has teamed up with Nitai Hershkovits to release Duende, the bassist’s 13th album and one that offers quite a unique blend of classical, jazz and folk music.
The album includes nine duets, written by the duo, except for a few reinterpretations of standards by John Coltrane, Cole Porter and Thelonius Monk. One thing is for sure on this album, and that’s Cohen’s trademark: incredible musicianship and dexterity on the bass.
Hershkovitz, still only in his 20’s, does his part to match up with the bassist.
“The first time I heard Nitai, it was in a little cafe in downtown Tel Aviv, Nico, in my neighborhood,” Cohen shares. “Nitai just swings naturally, with gentle authority; I’ve rarely seen that with other young pianists. He has something ancient within, a spirit that shines right through the way he tackles standards. You have to know your classics inside out, and love them, to tease the wonder out of them : no point just going over the same old ground, you have to do your own take, make them part of you. Nitai brings a fresh touch, reminding me of Brad Melhdau, without actually making any comparison. He has the same intent of making each song his own. He made me want to go back again to the story I thought was over.”
While Duende was released in May of this year, it has been a difficult one to locate until now. Even so, the digital outlets have not yet starting carrying it. Hopefully that’ll change soon.
Here is the duo performing “Criss Cross”, from the album:
Duende Track List:
- Criss Cross
- Four Versus / Continuation
- All of You
- Central Park West
- Ann’s Tune
- Ballad For An Unborn