Need a help

Forum for collectors and traders' of Leonard Cohen's music and poetry.
MaxP
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:52 pm

Need a help

Postby MaxP » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:11 pm

Hi!

I caught singer Anjani Thomas at the Drake Underground last night, the first of two Toronto dates in a tour that kicked off at Joe's Pub in New York the previous evening. Backed by a jazz ensemble from L.A., Anjani showcased songs from her CD Blue Alert. On the record, her voice curls like a cat around the words of Leonard Cohen, who produced the album, and her performance reproduced that same mood of hushed beauty. It was one of the most delicate things I've ever heard. Her singing has the soft, purity of a reed instrument.

It's a sound that feels like a far-off place, a pool of intimate intent shaded by silence. Anjani sings very quietly, working the kind of spell that requires a rapt audience, and the band behind her is even quieter. Later she told me they've only played together five times. It's lovely to see a band that's still so fresh they have to pay extra close attention, unwrapping each song as if defusing a bomb. The musicians were so careful, so restrained, which is the most difficult thing in the world to ask a musician to do. I remember Leonard once telling me, only half in jest, that you've got to "beat the band back" because its natural inclination is to engulf the song. And in that spirit, Anjani holds her musicians at a remove, treating the music an act of devotion to the source: do not trespass on the lyrics.


It's rare to hear a singer who doesn't try to "slay" the audience or "sell" the song. Anjani makes us listen, draws us in, and once the spell has been safely cast, she thanks us for being so quiet for so long and inhabiting these songs so full of space and silence.


We talked after the show. Anjani said that she and band were dazed and jet-lagged. Coming off the NYC gig in Joe's Pub—where they could hear the subway rumbling below the stage—they boarded a flight that sat on the tarmac at La Guardia for a couple of hours. Customs delays. No time to eat. A late sound check. Cohen, who attended the show in New York, went straight to Montreal, where they'll play April 29 at the Juste Pour Rire Theatre.

Leonard, she said, has never worked harder. Aside from this tour, he's been collaborating with composer Philip Glass on a concert based on Cohen's recent poetry collection, Book of Longing, which will premiere at Toronto's inaugural Luminato festival on June 1. And Cohen is also preparing for his first exhibit of artworks Drawn To Words, at Toronto's Drabinsky Gallery, which premieres June 3.
Anjani plays again tonight at the Drake.

Thanks.
User avatar
LisaLCFan
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Need a help

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:34 pm

MaxP:

Did you just step out of a time machine from 2007? What you have written about happened 12 years ago!

What, precisely, do you "need a help" with, aside from being pointed to the fact that it is now 2019?

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