In a valiant attempt to mesh the influences of Middle Eastern, classical and fusion-style music, bassist Avishai Cohen (not to be confused with the trumpeter of the same name) has produced a worthy effort. Combining the exotic sounds of the oud, an ancient Middle Eastern string instrument, and the textural use of his own bowed upright bass, together with accomplished pianist Sam Barsh and driving drummer Mark Guiliana, Cohen creates a trademark sound that is at once unusual and interesting. On this track in particular, Cohen transports the listener into a nomadic tent pitched mid-desert replete with camels and parched throats. Setting the piece's tone, Hoffman's oud deftly counterpoints Barsh's classically influenced and impressive piano work. Meanwhile, Cohen and Guiliana keep the rhythmic bottom so anchored that the listener never strays too far from the Western influences of the jazz idiom. At times, all instruments play in perfect Mahavishnu-style sync, creating a stirring sense of tension while demonstrating great virtuosity in a distinctively Eastern-influenced vein. This unusual melding of three disparate musical influences achieves a surprising degree of success.
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