opening cut "Baião Da Esperança" to the percussive "Das Neves" (Luiz Ungarelli adds congas on this and one other track) to the clarinet-percussion duo on the title track. Pieces such as "Flamenco" and "O Ocidente Que Se Oriente" move in fascinating directions. The former is built off the lovely melody played by the 10-string bandolim and by Alexandre Lora on the hang (hand drum); when the clarinet enters, the piece takes on a melancholy tone. The latter track takes its title from a poem by Diego Petrarca. Opening with a drone created by the tambura, the melody is played by clarinet and guitar shadowed by the hand drums (tabla drums, I believe).
Here is the delightful opening track:
The 12 tracks feature six "Coisas" (things), all of have different personalities ranging from the classically inspired "..No. 1" to the somber ballad "..No 6" to the sprightly "..No 10" to the handsome ballad "..No 9." That last tune, in Santos's recording, has the feel of a Billy Strayhorn ballad. You can hear that hear as well, the lovely and crystal clear guitar backing giving Ms. Cohen the foundation to play the sweet melody and male little musical comments on it. Meanwhile, "..10" is a romp for Gonçalves and listener will love how the the clarinet just slides in the middle of the opening verse. Two other tracks are "Coisas" including the playful title track in which there are moments where it seems the musicians are circling around each other. Listen to the "heavy" chords of "Nanã (Coisa No. 5)" - this inspired track gets so quiet at times you can almost see the musicians leaning into each other to listen.
Delightful is an excellent word to describe "Outra Coisa." Marcello Gonçalves did a masterful job on the arrangements (if you're curious, check out his duo work with soprano saxophonist Daniela Spellmann) while Anat Cohen is at the top of her form. She combines the joie de vivre of Paquito D'Rivera with the warmth of Jimmy Guiffre. All things considered, find a quiet corner and dive into this splendid album.
For more information, go to www.anatcohen.com.
Here are the musicians talking about this project: