Avishai Cohen & Abraham Rodriguez Jr. - Iroko

2023 CD release

$33.00
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Iroko launches Avishai Cohen's longtime dream "to do a Latin project with his favorite Latin musician in New York". Israel based bassist - singer and master conguero-vocalist Abraham Rodriguez Jr., brim with tunefulness, grooves, warmth, indelible melodies and the bonds of brotherhood to summon Yoruba gods. In Yoruba lore, Iroko is a complicated symbol-a troll inhabiting the top branches of a tree called "the throne of god," guarded against lest he come to earth, be seen and drive men mad. But Iroko, the French naïve label's unique release by singer-bassist Avishai Cohen and conguero-vocalist Abraham Rodriguez Jr., brims with tunefulness, grooves and warmth.

It has deep roots in esoteric religion and popular song, and comes naturally from these 30-year cross-cultural collaborators who ward off trouble, united in musical spirit. The album is the 20th for prodigious Israel-based composer-performer Cohen, but just the third project out-front for Rodriguez, a self-described Nuyorican, Santeria-adept and doowop-batarumba king, though he's added his secret sauce for decades to the best Latin New York recordings. It's as soulful as a streetcorner serenade in Spanish Harlem. Appeals to the Yoruba orishas flow among reappraising versions of James Brown's "It's a Man's World," the 1960 Academy Award-winner "Theme to Exodus," and Sinatra-associated "Fly Me To the Moon."

Everything's grounded in the propulsive clavé rhythm that underlies virtually all Afro-Caribbean-derived music (jazz included), as Rodriguez's hand-drumming locks in syncopation with Cohen's irresistible bass patterns, and their voices blend like those of true friends. Iroko launches Cohen's longtime dream "to do a Latin project with my favorite Latin musicians in New York. It starts with this concept record, just me and Abi," he says, "followed by the premiere in March in Paris of our band [with drummer Hernacio "El Negro" Hernandez, trumpeter Diego Urcola, saxophonist Yosvany Terry, and Spanish singer Virginia Garcia Alves], then a week at the Blue Note in New York, and dates at the summer's festivals.

(3700187680800)

SKU 3700187680800
Barcode # 3700187680800
Brand Naive

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