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Spring Feelings

Criss Cross Jazz 1384



1.You And The Night And The Music (Arthur Schwartz / Howard Dietz)

2.Jed's Place (Misha Tsiganov)

3.October In Kiev (Misha Tsiganov)

4.Yes Or No (Wayne Shorter)

5.Jumping Michael (Misha Tsiganov)

6.Infant Eyes (Wayne Shorter)

7.The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (Jerome Brainin)

8.Blues For Gerry (Misha Tsiganov)

9.Spring Feelings (Misha Tsiganov)


Misha Tsiganov (piano)

Alex Sipiagin (trumpet / fluegelhorn)

Seamus Blake (tenor sax)

Hans Glawischnig (bass)

Donald Edwards (drums)

Recorded: 8 September 2015, Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, New York [64:27]

Itís two years since the Russian born pianist Mischa Tsiganov released his first album on the Criss Cross Jazz label entitled ĎThe Artistry of the Standardí. In it, nine familiar standards were given the Tsiganov treatment. With a surfeit of material, enough to accommodate two CDs, he asked producer Gerry Teekens if this could be ĎVolume 1í: ĎI was arranging every day, one standard after another, like a boy in the water who never stops playingí. As it turns out, this subsequent release ĎSpring Feelingí incorporates four standards with five Tsiganov originals. Alex Sipiagin, Seamus Blake and Donald Edwards, all members of the Opus 5 Quintet, join him once again, but new to the venture is bassist Hans Glawischnig.

Tsiganov injects his own brand of inventive genius into both the reworkings and his own compositions. Mixed meters, shifting tempos, modulations and reharmonizations, each he negotiates with expert skill. In all the music he fuses the traditional with the new, merging together folk, jazz and classical elements.

We open with his take on Arthur Schwartz 1934 You And The Night And The Music, a delicious arrangement that apparently caused some problems during the rehearsal. At the bidding of the players Tsiganov had to make some adjustments. The result is a playful track in which Sipiagin and Blake take centre stage, each having his moment in the sun. October in Kiev, one of the originals, has to be my favourite. Itís the only piece for trio on the disc. Inspired by a trip to Ukraineís capital, the composer proves himself a sensitive melodist, deftly weaving his piano line around bass and drums. The improvisatory feel gives an overwhelming impression of music being created on the wing. The cleverly constructed Jumping Michael, with itís accented chords, paints a graphic description of the composerís young son hopping around the family apartment, much to the annoyance of the neighbours. Thereís plenty of verve and vigour in Sipiaginís and Blakeís virtuosic contributions.

Seamus Blakeís instinctive contouring of the opening of Wayne Shorterís Infant Eyes is raptly intense. Braininís The Night Has A Thousand Eyes from the 1948 film of the same name has played an important role since Tsiganovís youth on his personal path to discovering jazz. Here it is given a run for itís money, in a reworking securing favourable results. To end, all concerned give a high octane rendering of the pianistís Spring Feelings, the title piece.

One of the finest jazz releases Iíve heard of late, it certainly gets the thumbs up from me. Iím itching to hear the first album now.

Stephen Greenbank

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