Kyle Eastwood, Songs from the Chateau [Rendezvous Music],Avishai Cohen, Seven Seas [Sunnyside Records]

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What bonds Eastwood and Cohen, who reside in different regions of the jazz spectrum, is the steadfast notion that compositions come first. Eastwood’s fifth outing is cast through a vivid black and white lens, thanks to the two-horn, post-bop hue of his Europe-based quintet. Key scenes include the rollicking Les McCann-ish blues opener, “Marciac,” Eastwood’s rhythmic subhooks and solos on the stately “Andalucia,” and his stellar electric bass support and blowing on the angular samba “Over the Line.”

Cohen also sharpens his focus to memorable effect. Having toured with the core quintet—as well as the Hebrew, Middle Eastern, Andalusian, and classical colors—from his last CD, Aurora, Cohen is able to seamlessly sum up his outside-the-jazz-box efforts on Seven Seas. “Dreaming” is a Metheny-esque, wordless vocal excursion; “Seven Seas” is awash in Cohen’s trademark odd-meter mastery; while “Two Roses” crackles with a call-and-response, bass-and-horn head over an Arabic-Cuban groove, as soaring vocals, film noir horns, and Cohen’s stirring solo leap from the track. (CJ)

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