A Different Duet
The Location: Barcelona
The Date: January 13, 2007
The Concert: Acords Amb Leonard Cohen
The Song: Take This Waltz
The Language: Spanish
The Cohen: Adam
The Barcelona Concert, January 13, 2007
Almost a year ago, at Acords Ambs Leonard Cohen, a tribute concert to Leonard Cohen featuring Spanish and international artists, Anjani sang Half A Perfect World and Thanks For The Dance from her Blue Alert CD and Adam Cohen, Leonard Cohen’s son, performed Bird On The Wire.
But the highlight of the night may well have been Anjani and Adam Cohen joining voices in a duet1 of Take This Waltz (in Spanish).
The video of the duet recently made it to YouTube, and it is something special.
The potential downside inherent in a conjoint appearance on stage of Leonard Cohen’s son and Leonard Cohen’s paramour at a concert honoring Leonard Cohen is that the performance itself can become lost in the preoccupation with the concept that this is a performance by Leonard Cohen’s son and Leonard Cohen’s paramour to honor Leonard Cohen.
This risk is especially acute for Leonard Cohen fans, but the situation is even more complex and conflicted for those of us who are simultaneously Cohenthusiasts and and Anjani admirers.2
If one can, however, deal with those distractions sufficiently to focus on the performance itself, the rewards are gratifying. While the performance (or, at least, the YouTube version of the performance) seems, to my ears, uneven with a few ragged portions, there are moments that are nothing short of captivating and, indeed, there are instances in which – and this is a line I never anticipated writing – their voices fit together more musically than those of Anjani and Leonard in their duets.
I hasten to add that “fit together more musically” is not synonymous with “produce a better song.” I remain steadfast in my allegiance to Leonard Cohen; if, for example, I’m ever in one of those hypothetical situations in which I can save either Leonard or Adam but not both from death, well, Adam, you’re on your own. I’m just saying that I expected to be recommending the duet by Adam and Anjani as a “respectful and respectable tribute to Leonard Cohen,” but after watching the video, the results are far more impressive.
Adam Cohen & Anjani – Take This Waltz (Spanish)
The Concert’s Core Players
Bonus Adam Cohen Videos
Adam Cohen shares many aspects of his father’s appearance but little of his singing or songwriting style. Consequently, Adam’s rendition of Take This Waltz is not altogether characteristic of his repertoire. For a sense of Adam’s more typical work, I recommend the videos of Cry Ophelia, from his 1998 CD, “Adam Cohen” (the track is also found on the “Dawson’s Creek Soundtrack” CD) and Tell Me Everything, also from the “Adam Cohen” CD.
Those videos, which unfortunately cannot be presented on an embedded player, can be found on YouTube at
~ Adam Cohen – Cry Ophelia ~
Coming Attractions: There will be more about Adam Cohen in future Heck of a Guy posts.
- The term, “duet,” may be misleading. I’m unsure of the musicological connotations of “duet” but while this song features two performers, Adam Cohen’s role is clearly primary. He sings more of the song and sings many of the most expressive portions alone. On the other hand, the portions they sing together, as noted later in this post, are those that most capture my interest. [↩]
- My efforts to construct a neologism for “fans of Anjani” remain unrequited. In this case, lured by the vaguely similar terminal structures, I tried to parallel “Cohenthusiasts,” with “Anjanists,” but on re-reading the complete sentence, the images “Anjanists” conjured up were (1) the condition or state of being without Janists and (2) a secretive Roman Catholic order dedicated to the proselytism of natives indigenous to the Ozarks and zealous enforcement of healthcare compliance, neither of which was quite what I was going for. [↩]