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Song Premiere For Israeli Guitarist Tomer Cohen

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Israeli Guitarist Tomer Cohen debuts withNot the Same Riverfeaturing drummer Obed Calvaire and bassist Matt Penman.

Photo credit above – Liri Agami

The album title, Cohen explained, relates to an expression by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus: No man ever steps in the same river twice, for its not the same river and hes not the same man. “That’s the sentence that encompasses all the compositions on the album,” he said. “We are constantly in motion, we’re always changing, and we just need to accept that.”



Accompanied by the highly interactive rhythm tandem of drummer Obed Calvaire (a ubiquitous figure on the NYC scene and currently a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis) and stalwart bassist Matt Penman (formerly with the SFJAZZ Collective and sideman on over 100 recordings), Cohen demonstrates his unique fingerstyle-and-pick technique on eight thoughtful compositions that reflect his pastoral upbringing, from age 4 to 21, on a kibbutz in Israel. “The kibbutz is located in the countryside and has a strong sense of community,” he recalled. “I used to play outside with my guitar, watching the fields and the blue sky. I believe some of that vibe is reflected in some of the tunes on this record.”  



Cohen added, “I think the record is quite a unique combination of some folk, Israeli music and jazz. I think we combine it in such a way that it’s not a defined thing. We’re all jazz players playing on the record but it’s not necessarily a traditional jazz guitar trio record. And that’s what I was going for. I wanted to make my own sound.” And he succeeds in grand fashion on this auspicious debut.

Photos from the “Not the Same River” sessions. Photo credits – Duygu Altuntaş

Tomer Cohen and band tracking in the studio
Tomer Cohen tracking
Cohen and band in the control room

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