Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Amina Figarova Returns with the Ravishing "Sketches"

Amina Figarova weights in with a new album, "Sketches" (BMCD 507). Once again it's Amina at the piano with 13 new pieces, scored for the mid-sized group that gives her a chance again to show what she can do with the three-man horn frontline. Bart Platteau once more brings his eloquent and warm-toned flute and we also have Ernie Hammes on trumpet and flugelhorn as well as Marc Mommans on the tenor.

Ms. Figarova's music is cool, deceptively cool. It's cool in the way that Herbie Hancock's Speak Like A Child is cool. It has moments of fire but it's the legato piano soloing and the lush carpet of beautifully voiced horns that gives everything a gentle quality, cool-like.

To appreciate Figarova's music you have to listen more than a few times because it's pretty subtle. It's music of a pleasant sort, but that initial impression broadens on repeated listening as one comes to understand the sophisticated melodic writing-voicings and the lyrically inspired Figarova piano.

This new one may be the most subtle of them all. We have a very well-rehearsed group with very capable soloists playing a baker's dozen of Figarova's jazz compositions. It's a real pleasure to hear, but it has a latent punch you'll feel as you keep listening. Get a copy and put it on a few times and you'll see what I mean.

Ms. Figarova is carving out her niche with some wonderful music. Hear it.

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