Lyla | Cat No: SSC 4601 | Release Date: 9th Sept 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 endeavors: 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 colors, 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”.

Asencion, lyla, How Long, The Evolving Etude, Structure In Emotion and Simple Melody – Written and Arranged by Avishai Cohen, Published by Gadu Music BMI
The Watcher written by Marshall Mathers / Andre Young – Published by Eight Mile Style Music, BMI, Aint Nothing But Funking ASCAP, WB Music Corp, ASCAP, Arranged by Avishai Cohen and Mark Guiliana
Handsonit – Written and arranged by Aishai Cohen, Published by Gadu Music, BMI, and Mark Guiliana, Hearnt Music, BMI
Come Together – Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Published By Sony ARV Tunes, BMI, EMI Blackwood Music, BMI
How Long (Reflected) – Written and arranged by Avishai Cohen, Published By Gadu Music, BMI and Avi Lebovich Abushi Music,SESAC
Eternal Child – Written by Armando Corea published by Songs of Universal, BMI

All Tracks recorded at Right Track Studios, New York Sept 24 2002 by Joe Feria

All other tracks have been mixed and recorded by Bernie Kirsh at Mad Dog Studios Los Angeles
February 3-10 2003 with the exception of Ascension and Handsonit, mixed by Avishai Cohen, Eric Carlinsky and Mark Guiliana at BearTracks Studios, Suffern, NY April 15th 2003

The entire recording was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering LA April 18 2003

Produced by Avishai Cohen
Co Produced by Mark Guiliana and Ray Jefford

Avishai Cohen : Vocals on tracks 1,2,3,5,8 and 11. Piano on tracks 1,4,5,6 and 9. Fender Rhodes and Synth on tracks 1,2,7. Electric Bass on 3,4,5,7,,10 and 11
Diego Urcola: Trumpet on tracks 1,5 and 7. Flüglehorn on tracks 2 and 9
Yosvanay Terry: Alto Sax on tracks 1,2,5 and 7. Chekere on tracks 1 and 9
Avi Lebovich Trombone on tracks 1,5,7 and 9. Flute on tracks 1,2,5,7.
Yargil Baras : Electric and Acoustic Bass on 1,2,5,7 and 9
Eric McPherson: Drums on tracks 1,2,5,7,9
Mark Guiliana on Electronics on tracks 1,5,7. Percussion on track 4 and 8
Lola: Vocals on tracks and 9
Jeff Taylor: Vocals on track 2
Bernie Kirsh: Vocals on track 4
Chick Corea: Piano on track 10

Avishai Cohen – Lyla – Jazz Review

by John Kelman

Recordings that dabble in a variety of genres take the risk of sounding unfocused; all too often artists with diverse interests and influences are unable to find the thread that draws everything together, resulting in an apparent lack of direction. Fortunately this is not the case with Avishai Cohen who, with Lyla, has created a cosmopolitan effort that blurs the boundaries between jazz, pop, hip-hop and world music.

Cohen, who first created a name for himself as a bassist with Chick Corea’s Origin and New Trio, has been moving towards this for some time. While his bass playing still figures prominently in the blend, he often-times relinquishes bass duties to Yagil Baras, instead playing a variety of keyboards and providing vocals on a few tracks. But Lyla’s real strength is in the composition, arrangement and production.

Lyla is Cohen’s first recording for his fledgling Razdaz Records label. Cohen formed the label as a showcase for the numerous projects he is involved with after four recordings for Chick Corea’s Stretch Records, and if Lyla is any indication, the freedom inherent in having his own label is liberating indeed. From the improvisational fury of the West African-informed “Ascension”, to the title track which, with its use of Fender Rhodes and Spanish-tinged melody, owes something to Corea, to the atmospheric reading of Dr. Dre’�s “Watchdog”, to the drum-n-bass of “Handsonit”, to the childlike simplicity of “Simple Melody”, Cohen covers a lot of territory. And yet, for all the diversity, the album hangs together as a whole.

Other highlights on the recording are Cohen’s piano solo, “Structure in Emotion” which, with its three movements, shows an increasing maturity in Cohen’s musical vision; “Eternal Child”, a duet reading with Chick Corea, of Corea’s Elektric Band piece; and “The Evolving Etude” which, with Cohen’s International Vamp Band, who provide backup on many of the album’s group pieces, is a showcase for Cohen’s fleet-fingered electric bass work.

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.

New CD Releases: Avishai Cohen On Tour In Support Of “Lyla”

Posted by: editor on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 – 09:27 PM

On September 9, 2003 Avishai Cohen’s new record label Razdaz Recordz will release its debut recording, Avishai’s brilliantly conceived and beautifully diverse new recording, Lyla (Lyla is “night” in Hebrew). In support of Lyla Avishai will be hitting the road with his new trio, consisting of pianist Sam Barsheshet and drummer Mark Guiliana, and his new quartet featuring saxophonist Yosvany Terry. Dates have been scheduled for Oakland, CA (9/16-Yoshi’s), Santa Barbara, CA (Soho Club-9/17), Los Angeles, CA (The Lillian Theater-9/18-20), San Diego, CA (Victor’s on the Bay-9/21), Boston, MA (Sculler’s-9/30), New York City (Joe’s Pub-10/1-CD release party!), Chicago, IL (The Hothouse-10/3), La Crosse, WI (Univ. of Wisconsin-10/5), Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center-10/22), Philadelphia, PA (Painted Bride Theatre-10/25), Hackensack, NJ (Heroes Cancer Charity-10/30), Louisville, KY (Jazz Factory-10/31-11/1), New Orleans, LA (Contemporary Arts Centre-11/2).

After recording four critically acclaimed albums for Stretch/Concord Records, the bassist/pianist/composer/arranger felt it was time to embark on two new endeavors: 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.

“A strong spiritual current runs through Cohen’s music . . .” Mike Joyce, The Washington Post

“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.”

“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.” Chick Corea

On Lyla, Cohen cultivates imaginative compositions and arrangements, creates distinctive sonic textures and colors, 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.”

“I’ve always been interested in several genres of music, including jazz, rock, pop, Latin and funk,” says Cohen. “�And I’m always packed with ideas. I decided to start my own label because I’m involved in so many different projects.” (Razdaz Recordz will be distributed in the US by Sunnyside/RYKO Distribution). Eventually Cohen wants Razdaz Recordz to record younger musicians who he’s enthusiastic about, but for starters the label gives him an outlet to creatively express the diversity of his musical vision.

” . . . (a) convergence of different languages into one distinct whole.” Steve Graybow, Billboard

Cohen’s four releases for Corea’s Stretch imprint include Adama (1998), Devotion (1999), Colors (2000) and, with the International Vamp Band, Unity (2001). Lyla, produced by Cohen and co-produced by Mark Guiliana, finds Avishai taking another giant step forward in his musical maturation. In stores September 9, 2003 on Razdaz Recordz.