On April 12, 2007 Half Note Records, in conjunction with RazDaz Recordz, released As Is . . . Live at The Blue Note, the first live CD/DVD recording from one of the world’s eminent bassists/composers, Avishai Cohen. Down Beat Magazine has called Cohen a ‘jazz visionary of global proportions’; Bass Player Magazine named him ‘one of the 100 Most Influential Bass Players of the 20th Century’ and The New Yorker proclaimed that Avishai is ‘one of the most gifted bassists of his generation.’ In addition to his much sought-after studio recordings, much of Cohen’s worldwide praise has been based on his trio’s incredible performances on stages around the globe. With the release of As Is . . . Live At The Blue Note, featuring Avishai with Sam Barsh on piano and keyboards, Mark Guiliana on drums and special guests Jimmy Greene on saxophones and Diego Urcola on trumpet, audiences can now revel in the groove, melody, power, excitement and beauty of this exemplary performance at home.
The magic and strength of a working band, ‘which in this music is stronger than any concept,’ says Cohen, and is one of the key ingredients on this live CD/DVD. The trio of Avishai, Sam and Mark, a crackerjack unit that has been delighting audiences around the world for more than three years, has grown into one of the most enjoyable and fascinating trios one can experience on the scene today. Their respect for each other, their empathetic interaction, and the pure joy and enthusiasm they share in performing music with each other, is part of what makes Cohen’s music connect with listeners on many levels. As Is . . . Live At The Blue Note is the definitive documentation of this trio as Avishai takes the band in an exciting new direction with the arrival of the young Israeli piano virtuoso Shai Maestro, poised to take over where the brilliant Sam Barsh left off.
As Is . . . Live At The Blue Note also offers an overview of Avishai’s career with highlights from his spectacular recordings: ‘Smash’, ‘Elli’, ‘Samuel’, ‘One For Mark’ and ‘Nu Nu’ are from Continuo (Razdaz, 2006), ‘Remembering’ and ‘Feediop’ were featured on At Home (Razdaz, 2005), ‘Etude’ stems from the brilliantly conceived recording Unity (Avishai Cohen & The International Vamp Band, Stretch, 2001), and ‘Bass Suite #1’ is a stand out track from Avishai’s debut release, Adama (Stretch, 1998).
Much more than a bandleader, composer and inspiring instrumentalist, Avishai Cohen has become an artist with clear, distinctive band concept and musical vision. In this regard he is following in the footsteps of artists such as Mingus, Dave Holland, Jaco Pastorius, Ray Brown, Charlie Haden, Stanley Clarke and even Sting.
"As Is is Cohen's first live record, and it's a beauty."
JAZZ TIMES CD Reviews, August 2007
A Great Direction for Jazz
"This is a musician I've never seen perform in concert, but after listening to this disc, that is going to have to change. Bassist Avishai Cohen's band features music with complex but accessible melodies, intriguing changes in tempo and mood, along with some spectacular soloing by the likes of Jimmy Greene (sax) and Diego Urcola (Trumpet)...Cohen's bass work, be it electric or acoustic, as on the (literally) blistering 'Feediop' is astonishing in technique, yet with a warm glow, like the sun bouncing off the sand in the Negev desert. This is music that is sophisticated, inspiring and a great direction for jazz."
JAZZ WEEKLY USA