Triple Helix (Anzic Records)

Anat Cohen Tentet

Released June 14, 2019

Grammy Nominee for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 2020




In a stirring follow-up to its 2017 debut Happy Song, the Anat Cohen Tentet reaches a new crest in its evolution with Triple Helix. The album’s centerpiece is a three-movement concerto composed for Cohen and the tentet, the Grammy-nominated clarinet virtuoso, by her longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari, the Tentet’s musical director. Commissioned by New York’s Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Center for live world premieres earlier in 2019, “Triple Helix” won raves from The Chicago Tribune as “a work of considerable expressive reach” and a “sensuous tonal palette,” with Cohen “sounding like a musician transformed.”
The Tentet, a vibrant mix of ace New York players, bring a wealth of color to the new work, which defies all stylistic pigeonholing: weaving in and out we hear the sumptuous brass of Nadje Noordhuis and Nick Finzer, the robust baritone sax of Owen Browder, the sonically enriching vibraphone and percussion of James Shipp, the lithe and versatile cello of Christopher Hoffman, the radiant piano and accordion of Vitor Gonçalves, the edgy yet ingeniously integrated solid-body guitar of Sheryl Bailey and the decisive and driving rhythm section work of bassist Tal Mashiach and drummer Anthony Pinciotti.

Track Listing:

1. Milonga Del Angel (Astor Piazzola) 6:28

Triple Helix – Concerto for Clarinet and Enseble (Oded Lev Ari)

2. I first 11:15
3. II for Anat 5:36
4. III last 5:02

5. Miri (Anat Cohen) 4:21
6. Footsteps & Smiles (Anat Cohen) 4:52
7. La Llorona 7:48
8. Lonesome Train (Gene Roland) 4:34
9. Morning Melody (Epilogue) (Anat Cohen) 1:17


Anat Cohen: clarinet
Sheryl Bailey: guitar
Owen Broder: baritone sax & bass clarinet
Nick Finzer: trombone
Vitor Gonçalves: piano & accordion
Tal Mashiach: bass
Nadje Noordhuis: trumpet & flügelhorn
Anthony Pinciotti: drums
James Shipp: vibraphone & percussion

Oded Lev-Ari: Musical Director

Recorded January 2019, at Sear Sound, NYC, by Brian Montgomery

Mixed by Brian Montgomery

Mastered by Mark Wilder

Cover Artwork by Milton Glaser

Additional Design by Michal Levy

Band Photo by

Produced by Anat Cohen & Oded Lev-Ari


A huge name in United States jazz circles, Israeli-born New York-based Anat Cohen has won “clarinetist of the year” 10 years running in the Jazz Journalists’ Association Awards. She’s also had two Grammy nominations and graced the cover of Downbeat. Yet she is not nearly as well known in the UK as her brother, the trumpeter Avishai Cohen. This album by her Tentet should help to redress that. It has as its centerpiece Odded Lev-Ari’s concerto for her: ‘Triple Helix’, a 21-minute work in three movements that shows her virtuoso playing to great advantage, runs through a panoply of musical moods and justifies the investment of Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Center in commissioning it. The core of the new work is its opening movement, running half the length of the whole, and including some inventive accordion work from Gonçalves and a cello solo from Hoffman that almost sounds like an oud, with flexible bent notes and subtle pizzicato lines. Elsewhere, the album runs a neat course between the sombre re-imagining of Gene Roland’s ‘Lonesome Train’ (written for Stan Kenton, but almost unrecognisable here) and the joyous boogaloo of Cohen’s own ‘Footsteps & Smiles’. Cohen’s strength is a lyrical beauty of tone and phrasing that shines on Piazzolla’s ‘Milonga Del Angel’ or her own ballad ‘Miri’. Yet she has the firepower and range to astonish with her sheer control of the instrument, and the fearlessness with which she bends it to her will, particularly in the title piece. A thoroughly rewarding album, whose numerous moments of gentleness are counterbalanced by some fearsome atonality and frenetic energy.

Alyn Shipton (Jazzwise)