After more than eighteen months of writing, one would think pianist Tal Cohen was being too cautious in recording his new album, Yellow Sticker. But the overtime spent on polishing every arrangement on the record has given listeners a sparkling jewel of a reward, a sublime, breathtaking effort that is a modern classic.
Touring with the Jamie Oehlers Quartet, featuring highly acclaimed Ari Hoenig, seems to have fired Cohen’s imagination and his talent. Based in Australia, Cohen isn’t simply aiming for local recognition here; the creative ambition on display reveals a young artist who is seeking global acceptance. Cohen’s breakneck piano playing on “Tziport” is a roller coaster ride of speed and flexibility. Tenor saxophonist Oehlers adds smoke to an already fiery performance.
The chemistry between Cohen and his fellow musicians – Oehlers, bassist Pete Jeavons, and drummer Chris Tarr – is what ignites the album. Together, they complete Cohen’s intense vision, make it concrete, and then light it up. The title cut is a pretzel of instrumental jamming; Cohen and his band bring on the energy and technical precision at a relentless pace. Nevertheless, there are softer moments as well. “On a Misty Night” radiates with the elegant cool of the jazz masters while “There’s More Fish in the Sea” features some of Cohen’s most lovely piano.