The audience in the Emmet Cohen concert, filling the Cemal Reşit Rey concert hall, I’m sure didn’t expect the concert to be such an awesome concert held on March 1, 2022. We bathed in the oldest and deepest waters of jazz. Bringing a whole new perspective to stride piano technique belonging to the New Orleans era by compiling swing, be-bop, hard-bop, post-bop to fit in a 1.5 hour of concert and taking us on a long journey, It made jazz lovers to fix themselves on their seats and watch with admiration…
What kind of a musical feast appears in your mind when you think of jazz legends like Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines and Art Tatum, this concert had it all. It was a concert that would start a love of jazz in someone who has never listened to jazz before, and will bring enthusiasm back to those who have gone to jazz concerts many times before and have lost their former enthusiasm. Should we call the music of Emmet Cohen neo-traditional jazz?.. Yes!
Let me list the musicians performing at the concert with their birth years, as usual, and continue with my impressions and research results from where I left off.
Emmet Cohen (1990): piano
Yasushi Nakamura (1982): double bass
Kyle Poole (1994): drums
Emmet Cohen Trio (Photo: Beran Paçacı)32 year old pianist, 40 year old double bassist and 28 year old drummer. Despite the age difference between them, we had a very harmonious trio who understood each other like childhood friends before our eyes. It was not easy for us to understand with the smiles on their faces how difficult a task they had accomplished in the parts where the tracks were high tempo that required high synchronization. As someone who has listened to a lot of trio music, I give them full marks without hesitation. Especially interpreting important pieces of Fats Waller and Billy Strayhorn, their commitment to traditional jazz but being in search of something unique made me so happy.
They went on a Europe tour in 2020 December; Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland and held 12 concerts in total. Now I am checking out their concert schedule and they really do have a dense program waiting for them; They are realizing 15 concerts in March in Turkey, France, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Spain. Then, taking the stage in Birdland Jazz Club in New York for 5 nights. Afterwards, they will be visiting different parts of America.
There was a cheerful, handsome, warmhearted Emmet Cohen that loved interacting with the audience. Saying words such as “Hello” and “Thank you” in Turkish, Cohen’s effort was applauded and appreciated.
I had mixed feelings during the concert. Let me note a few points I remember from that night. It was as if they had put me on a train and I was on a journey to New Orleans with legendary jazz players. My wife’s head resting on my shoulder for a while and our hands clenched together were the signs that got carried away with love. In a few songs, I wished we could hear tenor saxophone or trumpet sounds; After reviewing Cohen’s albums, I saw that he actually included the saxophone and the trumpet. So, it wasn’t only me!
We had a first-class jazz trio performing at the major jazz clubs of New York in front of us. I would like to thank CRR General Art Director Murat Cem Orhan, İBB and Kültür A.Ş. for enabling us to watch this concert. Murat Cem Orhan was invited to the Corinth Jazz Festival as a jazz pianist back in 2002. I imagine he specifically wanted a concert like this to happen.
Yahya Dai, one of our important saxophone players, and Ferit Odman, one of our jazz drummers, also attended the concert. They also expressed their admiration.
Emmet Cohen and his friends, thinking that people need morale during the pandemic period, held virtual concerts under the name “Live from Emmet’s Place”. The concerts were watched with online participation ranging from 35,000 to 80,000. I hope they will come to Turkey to give a concert again, and the number of people who have the chance to watch it live will increase!
Follow Emmet Cohen: https://emmetcohen.com/
Watch Emmet Cohen’s live performances: https://www.youtube.com/c/EmmetCohen/videos
Follow Yasushi Nakamura: https://www.yasushinakamurabass.com/
Finally, let me list Emmet Cohen and Yasushi Nakamura albums with their line-ups below. They are all really tight albums! If you want to go to the roots of jazz music and feel its pleasure in your veins, I recommend you to listen to each of their albums to the full.
Emmet Cohen – Future Stride (2021)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Russell Hall (Double Bass), Kyle Poole (Drums), Melissa Aldana (Tenor Saxophone)
Emmet Cohen – Masters Legacy Series Volume 4 (2019)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Russell Hall (Double Bass), Bryan Carter (Drums, George Coleman (Tenor Saxophone)
Emmet Cohen – Masters Legacy Series Volume 3 (2019)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Corcoran Holt (Double Bass), Russell Hall (Double Bass), Albert Heath (Drums), Benny Golson (Tenor Saxophone)
Emmet Cohen – Dirty in Detroit (2018)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Russell Hall (Double Bass), Kyle Poole (Drums)
Emmet Cohen – Masters Legacy Series Volume 2 (2018)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Ron Carter (Double Bass), Evan Sherman (Drums)
Emmet Cohen – Masters Legacy Series Volume 1 (2016)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Yasushi Nakamura (Double Bass), Jimmy Cobb (Drums), Godwin Louis (Alto Saxophone)
Emmet Cohen – Questioned Answer (2014)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Boris Kozlov (Double Bass), Billy Hart (Drums), Brian Lynch (Trumpet)
Emmet Cohen – Infinity (2013)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Giuseppe Venezia (Double Bass), Elio Coppola (Drums)
Emmet Cohen – In The Element (2011)
Emmet Cohen (Piano), Joe Sanders (Double Bass), Rodney Green (Drums), Greg Gisbert (Trumpet)
Yasushi Nakamura – Hometown (2017)
Yasushi Nakamura (Double Bass), Lawrence Fields (Piano), Clarence Penn (Drums), Bigyuki (Synthesizer)
Yasushi Nakamura – A Lifetime Treasure (2016)
Yasushi Nakamura (Double Bass), Lawrence Fields (Piano), Clarence Penn (Drums)