JazzTimes Reviews 3 Cohens at South Africa's Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival

“Moving from the disappointing to the sublime, the Cohen clan—tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Anat, soprano saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai, teamed with pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.—shaped the tightest, smartest, most satisfying set of the entire festival. Highlights: a dark, sensuous slither through Ellington’s “The Mooch”; the becalmed majesty of Anat’s clarinet, roiled by a stormy Yuval solo on Fred Hersch’s “Song Without Words”; the siblings’ delightful union on the meandering “A Capella”; a trio of sparkling Yuval gems—his playful, frisky “Blues for Dandi’s Orange Bull Chasing an Orange Sack” (for his young daughter, in attendance in the front row), wildly uplifting “Freedom” and warm, gentle “Family”; and, to close, a bright, spirited “Tiger Rag.” As charming and funny as they were dynamic, the Cohens were also the only festival act to make a point of meeting and greeting audience members after the performance, offering to sign CDs and pose for photos.”

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