Anat Cohen, Claroscuro
Cocktail-hour music with a progressive kick
This is cocktail-hour music with a non-trivial progressive kick – an interesting mixture. Cohen’s warm-sounding clarinet is supported throughout by the occasionally rambunctious pairing of Jason Lindner on piano and Daniel Freedman on drums. Their considered approach is established right away, on the opening one-two punch of songs. “Anat’s Dance” is a spirited original by Lindner that opens up just enough room for things to get wooly – though, just in case it was feeling too free for your taste, next up is a smooth rendition of “La Vie En Rose,” with Wycliffe Gordon on vocals, out of nowhere! (Gordon also gets his some trombone time during “And the World Weeps.”) An array of other world-music accents get their due in the mix – there’s a prepared-piano texture that crops up now and again in “All Brothers,” and the Brazilian romp “Um a Zero” has double-time abandon to spare – but not one threatens to overwhelm the comfort-food-style presentation.