A limited guitar player at best, and with a voice that hardly spans a couple of octaves, Leonard Cohen has nonetheless fashioned a legacy of gorgeously realized songs that reach deep into the heart of lust, ill- and well-fated romance, hope, and redemption, and if he doesn't sing like an angel, he could certainly mesmerize one with the melody, lilt, and power of his songs…
The program on this release by baritone Matthew Rose is innovative and useful in a couple of different ways. First, although performers have sometimes tried to bring 18th century opera to life by programming arias written for specific singers, this has usually been applied to countertenors. They were generally the stars, it's true, but they weren't the only ones. The Italian comic baritone Francesco Benucci was one of the leads of Joseph II's Italian opera company, the original Figaro, and the original Leporello in Don Giovanni in the Vienna premiere (the second production).
Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues.
Collection includes: I Can't Stand Still (1982); Building the Perfect Beast (1984); The End of the Innocence (1989); Inside Job (2000); The Very Best of Don Henley (2009).
Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released in December 1967 on Columbia Records. Less successful in the US than in Europe, Songs of Leonard Cohen foreshadowed the kind of chart success Cohen would go on to achieve. It reached number 83 on the Billboard 200 and achieving gold status in the US only in 1989, but peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart, and spent nearly a year and a half on it. Songs of Leonard Cohen was released on CD in 1989, while a digipak edition was released in some European countries in 2003. A remastered version, with the bonus tracks "Store Room" and "Blessed is the Memory," was released in the United States on April 24, 2007.
In May 2006, Leonard Cohen published his first collection of poetry in 22 years, Book of Longing, having previously used some of the material as songs on his most recent albums, Ten New Songs (2001) and Dear Heather (2004). The book touched on many of the themes he had explored throughout his writing career, including spirituality (he had spent part of his time between books as a postulant at a Buddhist monastery), eroticism, and self-deprecating humor. On June 1, 2007, at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Ontario, composer Philip Glass premiered his song cycle based on Book of Longing, which is here given a two-CD recording. Cohen is present on the album speaking (not singing) some of his poems, and Glass also has set some of them to music, with singing by a soprano (Dominique Plaisant), a mezzo-soprano (Tara Hugo), a tenor (Will Erat), and a bass-baritone (Daniel Keeling).
An incoherent tribute to Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Fan contains some fine versions of some of his best songs, but too often these renditions are half-hearted. Of particular interest are R.E.M.'s "First We'll Take Manhattan" and The Pixies' "I Can't Forget".