Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Amina Figarova, Blue Whisper

Amina Figarova keeps putting out some beautiful contemporary jazz. The pianist-composer originally from Azerbaijan gives us her 13th album with Blue Whisper (In + Out 77128-2), a fine collection of ten Amina originals played by her regular sextet plus guests. So we have of course Ms. Figarova on piano, Bart Platteau on flutes, Alex Pope Norris on trumpet and flugel (spelled on one number by Ernie Hammes), Wayne Escoffery on tenor, sharing the chair with Marc Mommaas, Luques Curtis on bass, spelled by Yasushi Nakamura, Jason Brown on drums, Anthony Wilson on guitar for a number, with a touching statement on the senseless violence over the world from Salhiya and Shamiyl Bilal Tumba, and an appearance on one number by vocalist Sarah Elisabeth Charles.

The music is a further development in the lyrical post-Blue-Note voicings and compositional acumen of Ms. Figarova, along with her formidable pianism and the clout of first-rate soloists.

It is a ravishing set, well burnished and filled with the ultra-musical sensibilities which Amina consistently brings to us in abundance. She as always has clear direction and great ideas at her fingertips and in her mind's eye. She gets her horn ensemble arrangements to sing as much as ever, and the rhythm-plus-Amina block goes forward with plenty of fire and drive.

Amina Figarova is a master of swinging, contentful contemporary sophistication and soul. This is surely one of her very best examples and you should hear it!! Nice, nice, nice!

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