Artist: Avishai Cohen
Release Date: 2003
On September 9, 2003, Avishai Cohen's new record label Razdaz Recordz released its debut recording, Avishai's brilliantly conceived and beautifully diverse new recording, Lyla. The bassist/pianist/composer/arranger felt it was time to embark on two new endeavours: forming his own label, Razdaz Recordz, and marking its debut with his newest disc, Lyla, a collection of music that showcases Avishai Cohen from the inside out. Lyla is a study in self discovery and self realization through music and musical relationships that can also bring about discovery and introspection in the listener.
"Lyla reflects much of who I am as an artist. The International Vamp Band has been touring for two years and I wanted to document that. I also started a rock band Gadu with some young musicians who are graduates of William Paterson College. It's creating a buzz in New York, and drummer and electronics specialist Mark Guiliana and I have been exploring a lot of new territory. I've also been working on pop tunes with a female vocalist named Lola. And, of course, to show the whole picture on the CD, I wanted to acknowledge my relationship to Chick. I've been associated with him for six years and have played hundreds of shows in his bands, so we're very connected".
On Lyla, Cohen cultivates imaginative compositions and arrangements, creates distinctive sonic textures and colours, delivers alluring melodies as well as clipping dance grooves and adventurously covers pop tunes such as Dr. Dre's "The Watcher" and the Beatles' "Come Together". Cohen plays acoustic and electric basses, piano, Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes and even sings the end song, the lullaby-like "Simple Melody". The CD features Cohen's International Vamp Band on straight ahead and rhythmically charged tracks, drummer and electronics specialist Mark Guiliana on more pop/rock-oriented numbers, vocalists Lola and Jeff Taylor on a couple of tunes, and jazz great Chick Corea in a stirring piano-bass duet of his lyrical gem, "Eternal Child".
Released by: Razdaz Recordz
Produced by Avishai Cohen
Co-produced by Mark Guiliana and Ray Jefford
All tracks recorded at Right Track Studios New York, NY. September 24th 2002, by Joe Feria
All other tracks have been mixed and recorded by Bernie Kirsh at Mad Dog Studios, Los Angeles, CA, February 3rd - 10th 2003, with the exception of "Ascension" and "Handsonit" mixed by Avishai Cohen, Eric Carlinsky and Mark Guiliana at BearTrack Studios, Suffern, NY, April 15th 2003
The entire recording was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Los Angeles, CA April 28th 2003
Booklet photography: Mark Mann
CD insert photography: Mark Guiliana and Diego Urcola
Art Direction: Uday Kak
Designed: Christopher Drukker
"A strong spiritual current runs through Cohen's music..."
Mike Joyce, The Washington Post
"He's a genius musician... a great composer with a really solid vision of the music he wants to make. Working with him has been very refreshing."
Multitude of Styles
"Cohen is gradually emerging as a consummate artist with an ability to merge a multitude of styles into a new whole; Lyla should go a long way to further cement his reputation as someone who is unafraid to go where his muse takes him."
Jazz Review, John Kelman