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 (Lyla is “night” in Hebrew). 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.
â€œLyla 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. Iâ€™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. Iâ€™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 colours, delivers alluring melodies as well as clipping dance grooves and adventurously covers pop tunes such as Dr. Dre’s “The Watcher” and the Beatle’ “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”.