Yellow Sticker (Tal Cohen Quartet) Review
John McBeath, The Australian
THESE musicians are based in Perth, where the jazz scene is thriving as a result of extensive courses in jazz studies.
Leader and pianist Tal Cohen, 26, is a graduate of Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where bassist Pete Jeavons and drummer Chris Tarr are lecturers. Saxophonist Jamie Oehlers is head of jazz studies at WAAPA and is a highly acclaimed global performer who doesn’t disappoint here. With talent of this level a debut album is bound to be successful.
The album’s title refers to a vehicle defect notice that Cohen says is for his dad, who rescues him when his car breaks down. That title track opens with some crisp solo piano notes in a jagged time before the ensemble lifts off with tenor sax and piano in unison for a fast post-bop theme, which drops into a slow, languid connecting passage.
Oehlers’s solo travels in hyper time, interspersed with piano, leading to counterpoint and a crescendo of speeding tenor sax against the repeated stabbing of piano treble chords.
Amid five varying originals, several of eastern European modality, two standards are included: a luscious interpretation of the ballad Everything Happens to Me and Tadd Dameron’s On a Misty Night, where Cohen plays a marvellously innovative lengthy solo of romantic introspection, swinging sequences and skilful chordal construction.
An impressive debut for an outstanding pianist.
RATING: 4 stars