Q&A:  Avishai Cohen

Q&A: Avishai Cohen

November 15, 2010 Off By The Jazz Messenger

From the first time I saw Avishai Cohen play with Chick Corea’s Sextet in the late 90’s, I have always believed that he is one of the most dynamic and entertaining jazz artists on the scene. His impressive talent extends from his well manicured bass work to composing, singing and piano playing. Regardless of the context, Avishai always finds a way to reach your emotional core and that might actually be his most precious gift of all. We sent Avishai a short list of questions and here’s what he had to say:

How or when did you first “discover” jazz?
At first as a kid, I just had a natural sense of improvisation and was attracted to that idiom in music. It was later on as a teenager that I understood that the music that includes improvisation more than any other music was jazz – and that was it.

Do you remember the first recording you ever purchased (jazz or otherwise)?
If I’m not mistaken, it was Bird and Diz but I can’t remember the title of the record.

When did you know you wanted to play jazz?
When I was a teenager.

Name one of your greatest creative influences and why?
Bach was one and still is. He’s world of melody rhythm and harmony and how it all flows in such beauty and grace had shaped my whole conception of music.

Name one jazz recording that you cannot live without?
Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington

What is the best thing about playing jazz?
The freedom.

What is your favorite escape?
To go to the beach.


Avishai Cohen