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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Alex Sipiagin is not the first Russian musician to emigrate to the USA. His predecessors include pianist Simon Nabatov and his elder and fellow trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, with whom he shares a resplendent virtuosity that has enabled him to integrate rapidly into the American jazz scene.

He has played with the Gil Evans Orchestra and the Mingus Big Band, alongside Michael Brecker, Gonzalo Rubalcacba and Dave Holland. Quite a line-up!

For this new leader’s album, one imagines that the trumpeter could only surround himself with musicians belonging to the elite, and this is the case with Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Matt Brewer and British pianist and keyboardist (based in the USA) John Escreet.

At the helm of this quintet, Sipiagin displays a full, beautifully timbred sound and a phrasing that moves from languor to velocity with disconcerting ease. But in addition to his usual virtuosity, it’s worth noting that since moving to Italy a few years ago, the blower has acquired a touch of lyricism that can no doubt be attributed to the proximity of his transalpine trumpet colleagues.

Chris Potter, for his part, rivals him in inventiveness and ardor on tenor and, on three themes, on the soprano saxophone.

It’s clear that the two blowers – who have known each other since their days in the Mingus Big Band – share the same vision of jazz, a warm and generous way of making the compositions – mostly by Sipiagin, who also covers two Pat Metheny themes – sound good, allowing them to put their impressive technique to the service of the music without seeking demonstrative feats.

They are amply aided in this by John Escreet‘s rhythmically and harmonically inventive accompaniment, which deserves special attention for its many surprises and unexpected twists.

In addition to his piano playing, the Briton’s discreet and timely keyboards lend the band a welcome new color. As for the rhythmic pair, they provide remarkable support from start to finish.

The result is an excellent recording that takes its place in the post-hard bop aesthetic without resorting to the clichés of the genre, while asserting a totally convincing personality.

Line Up:

Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn

Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxes

John Escreet: piano and keyboards

Matt Brewer: double bass

Eric Harland: drums

Horizons is a “Hit Couleurs Jazz“. It is in selection in Couleurs Jazz Radio. It was released by the label Blue Room Music, on May 24, 2024.

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