Into The Silence

Avishai Cohen

“Cohen is a multicultural jazz musician, among whose ancestors is Miles Davis.
Like Davis, he can make the trumpet a vehicle for uttering the most poignant human cries.”
The New York Times
Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces.  Into The Silence  is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint.  Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications.   Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues. Cohen and drummer Nasheet Waits have a hypersensitive understanding and their interaction can, from moment to moment, recall the heyday of Miles Davis and Tony Williams or Don Cherry and Billy Higgins.  Yet this music, while acknowledging inspirational sources, is very much of our time. Bassist Eric Revis, a cornerstone of the  Branford Marsalis quartet for two decades, provides elegant support throughout.  And saxophonist Bill McHenry, a subtle modernist who has worked with Paul Motian and Andrew Cyrille, shadows Cohen’s lines with feeling. Into The Silence was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in the South of France in July 2015 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
“Cohen is a multicultural jazz musician, among whose ancestors is Miles Davis.
Like Davis, he can make the trumpet a vehicle for uttering the most poignant human cries.”
The New York Times
Mit seinen beseelten Beiträgen zu Mark Turners Album Lathe of Heaven hat Avishai Cohen 2014 viele Hörer beeindruckt. Nun legt der charismatische, in Tel Aviv geborene Trompeter sein ECM-Debüt als Leader vor – mit einem Programm ausdrucksvoller, impressionistisch anmutender Kompositionen für Jazzquartett (Trompete, Klavier, Kontrabass, Schlagzeug), das in einigen Stücken um Tenorsaxophon erweitert wird. Into The Silence ist dem Gedenken an Avishais Vater David gewidmet und reflektiert die letzten Tage in dessen Leben mit Zurückhaltung und Würde. Cohens gedämpfte Trompete gibt der Musik in den Anfangspassagen des Albums die emotionale Prägung, seine hochkarätigen Mitmusiker loten deren Implikationen aus.
Der israelische Pianist Yonathan Avishai hat mit Cohen bereits in unterschiedlichsten Besetzungen gespielt und soliert hier einfallsreich, wobei er die eindringlichen Kompositionen mitunter mit bluesigen Phrasierungen ausleuchtet. Das von hochsensiblem Verständnis getragene Zusammenspiel Cohens mit Schlagzeuger Nasheet Waits erinnert in manchen Momenten an die Glanzzeiten von Miles Davis mit Tony Williams und Don Cherry mit Billy Higgins. Doch diese Musik, auch wenn sie die Quellen ihrer Inspiration durchscheinen lässt, ist ganz und gar heutig. Bassist Eric Revis, zwei Jahrzehnte lang ein Eckpfeiler von Branford Marsalis‘ Quartett, leistet durchgehend elegante Unterstützung. Und Saxophonist Bill McHenry, ein subtil agierender Modernist, der mit Paul Motian und Andrew Cyrille gearbeitet hat, folgt gefühlvoll Cohens Linien.
Into The Silence wurde im Juli 2015 im Studio La Buissonne in Südfrankreich von Manfred Eicher produziert.
Featured Artists Recorded

July 2015, Studios La Buissonne, Pernes les Fontaines

Original Release Date


  • 1Life And Death
    (Avishai Cohen)
  • 2Dream Like A Child
    (Avishai Cohen)
  • 3Into The Silence
    (Avishai Cohen)
  • 4Quiescence
    (Avishai Cohen)
  • 5Behind The Broken Glass
    (Avishai Cohen)
  • 6Life And Death - Epilogue
    (Avishai Cohen)
Hearing Avishai Cohen play on the recording session for Mark Turner’s recent Lathe of Heaven album, producer Manfred Eicher was struck by the trumpeter’s contribution at once. “I immediately liked Avishai’s tone, his phrasing, his energy and purity of sound,” he said. Now comes Cohen’s ECM leader debut with Into the Silence, an album dedicated to the memory of his late father. The trumpeter composed a sequence of emotive melodies reflecting on the last days of his father’s life, with muted horn setting the very personal, deeply felt tone of this music from the start. Along with the expressive grace and restraint of Cohen’s trumpet, there is searching, often blue-hued piano, lyrically mirroring saxophone and a kindred-spirit rhythm duo that responds with utmost subtlety to the beauty in the music.
 The core quartet for Into the Silence features Cohen alongside two longtime collaborators: pianist Yonathan Avishai (a decade-long member with the trumpeter in multicultural band Third World Love) and first-call New York drummer Nasheet Waits (one-third of Cohen’s freewheeling trio Triveni). Bassist Eric Revis, a mainstay of the Branford Marsalis Quartet for two decades, has also been a key rhythm-section partner for Waits in multiple bands (including in the cooperative trio Tarbaby with pianist Orrin Evans and in guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel’s trio). Augmenting Cohen’s quartet on several pieces is tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, an understated modernist who has played with the likes of Paul Motian and Andrew Cyrille.
 “Although the first time this band ever played together was in the studio for this album, there are links between each of us,” Cohen says. “I’ve known Yonathan since I was 12, sharing music with him in so many ways over the years. As for Nasheet, I recorded three albums and toured the U.S. and Europe with him in my Triveni trio. Since this Into the Silence band was coming together in the studio, I really wanted there to be a tight rhythm section – and Nasheet and Eric have the deepest connection, from Tarbaby and so much else. They’re fearless together. And I was able to play with Eric when he joined one of our Triveni tours in America, subbing for Omer Avital. With Bill McHenry, he and I played before just informally a few times – but I immediately felt close to his sound. His voice was required for this music.”
 This music consists of the melodies Cohen composed over six months following his father’s passing in November 2014. “The dissonant piano figure you hear in the beginning of the track ‘Into the Silence’ came to hand on the piano in my parents’ house right after my father died,” he explains. “I was dealing with a wide range of feelings that I couldn’t really deal with in words, only in music. The title of the song and album refers to the silence of absence, the way you see pictures of someone who is gone but you don’t really hear them in your life anymore.” The 15-minute “Dream Like a Child” refers to “how my father had always wanted to take music lessons and learn to be a musician when he was growing up, but his family couldn’t afford it for him,” Cohen explains. “But he made sure that his children – me, my sister, my brother – all got to have those lessons and learn instruments, as well as to play together.”
 During his father’s final weeks and after, Cohen listened to an album of Rachmaninoff’s solo piano music “constantly, on a loop, when I was a plane or a train, or going to sleep,” he recalls. “I think the emotional spirit of those preludes, etudes and elegies wound their way inside me. I became obsessed with the harmonies of his music, particularly the inner voices. The music isn’t just sad, either – there is surprise. A lot of life is in that music. It was inspiring for me. I was also listening a lot to Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch. Obviously, my record doesn’t sound anything like that – but the honesty of Dolphy’s music and the close way his band interacted were on my mind.”
 Cohen lived with his melodies for months, just in his head or at the piano. Much of the music had never come through his horn until the first takes in the studio. “I played through the tunes with Yonathan at the piano before the recording session, but it was brand new to everyone else, so everyone’s responses were completely fresh,” the trumpeter says. “The first track you hear on the album, ‘Life and Death’ – that’s the band’s very first impression of the piece. We were all discovering the potential of the music as we were playing. The experience of working with Manfred was fantastic. I’m used to producing my own records, but it was invaluable having his ears and experience for something like this. We saw the same picture in our heads from the start, shaping the album together as we went.
 “The vibe in Studios La Buissonne in the South of France was very relaxed – and very cohesive, with recording, mixing, mastering all taking place in three days,” Cohen adds. “I think you can hear both the relaxed quality and the cohesive process in the music, as it all feels of a piece. My last few albums with my Triveni band were oriented toward improvisation, loose and extroverted. Into the Silence has a different focus, more inward. It’s about the compositions, bringing out the stories and the feelings of those melodies.”
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