Avishai got his start playing in the pianist Chick Corea's band Origin—he was a young, burning player, and even on those early recordings showed amazing technique and a knack for putting together a great composition.
As the years have passed, Avishai went on to lead his own groups, and has become a prolific player, recording artist, composer, and songwriter. His ability to create crystal clear melodies is unparalleled—his tunes are rhythmically interesting, melodically gorgeous, and clearly created with passion and heart.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces of his. I hope you'll go and check out his stuff—you can't go wrong.
Here's a tune Cohen wrote to be played with Origin, though he has a redone version on his more-recent solo album "Lyla" that I prefer. (You can listen to that one here.) I love this melody.
This one's from the 2000 album of the same name, and features some gorgeous arranging—this is a jazz quintet joined by a string quartet, nothing crazy, but they get such a regal sound. Check out Avishai's great bass countermelodies.
Here is one of my favorite of his rhythmically complex tunes. It took me ages to parse the rhythmic figure behind the shift at 3:50. Check it out. It's all about subdividing the triplet, man. Good lord.
"Struture in Emotion"
Okay, so not the greatest song-name of all time, but I adore this piece. Avishai is playing piano here (he's been playing more piano on his recent stuff), and I like how fearlessly he embraces such lush chord progressions, while then breaking into a wonderfully complex rhythmic breakdown at the halfway point that uses the same triplet-attack as "Etude."
You can find out all about Avishai at his homepage—he's currently on a world tour, and he's a joy to see in concert.