Category Archives: Jazz
It’s like taking a few pages from the 1970s cookbooks of Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, adding one’s own recipes and coming up with something that is at once familiar yet very different. Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin’s From Reality and Back (5Passion, 2013) gives that impression.
With Sipiagin are Dave Holland, double bass; Antonio Sanchez, drums and percussion; Seamus Blake, saxophone; and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, acoustic and electric pianos.
“Around the Bend” is an ambient, free-flowing piece. All five players get moments in the spotlight, but it’s their cohesion as a unit that carries the overall piece. Rubalcaba’s electric piano is one part Chick Corea, one part Eumir Deodato and one part Michael Bluestein. However, Sanchez nearly steals the show during the keyboard solo. Sipiagin and Blake blend beautifully during the melodic passages, mixing overlapping phrases with unison.
“End of …” sets the listener up. It begins slowly, quietly and about two minutes in, it stops. The pause is brief, as the musicians kick it into high gear. Trumpet and tenor take the art of call and response and turn it into an all-out duel. The horns then take a break, stepping back for piano, bass and drums to engage in their own battle royal. There’s one extended stretch where all three instruments appear to be “the” solo instrument with the other two providing accompaniment. The end of the song is highlighted by the flaring horns.
Sipiagin was born on June 11, 1967, in Yaroslavi, Russia, a city 150 miles from Moscow and home to one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Leonid Sobinov, who is Sipiagin’s great-uncle. At 12, Sipiagin began playing in a children’s orchestra. After entering a local music college at 15, he was introduced to and inspired by what few, and rare, tape recordings available in Russia of bebop and other jazz music. That led to further study in Moscow, including classical training, pop gigs and recording sessions. As a professional, Sipiagin has performed or recording with an array of jazz and non-jazz artists. Among them are Gil Evans Band, Michael Brecker, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Elvis Costello, Michael Franks, David Sanborn, Phil Ramone, Dave Holland and the Mingus Big Band.
From Reality and Back is Sipiagin’s 13th release as a leader and his first on 5Passion, which is Rubalcaba’s label.
The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of Cool Struttin’ includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal. Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (1998, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey). This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series. 2013 Japanese pressing 24 bit remaster SHM-CD scheduled to include bonus material. Blue Note Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jerey on January 5, 1958. Originally released on Blue Note (81588). Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and Bob Blumenthal. Personnel: Sonny Clark (piano); Jackie McLean (alto saxophone); Art Farmer (trumpet); Paul Chambers (acoustic bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums). Producer: Alfred Lion. Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Freddie Hubbard comes storming home to his bebop roots on this 1981, West Wind release. When Hubbard, Richie Cole on alto saxophone, Ashley Alexander on double trombone, George Cables on piano, Andy Simpkins on bass, and John Dentz on bass dive head first into the seminal Gillespie/Parker tune “Shaw Nuff,” it’s almost as though the ’60s and ’70s never happened. They swim straight back to the source-lightning fast and with unbridled energy. On “Lover Man” (Ramirez/Davis/Sherman), Cole’s subtle, heartfelt soloing meshes seamlessly with Hubbard’s velvet flugelhorn. It is great to hear these tunes and this kind of playing updated in an era of such superior recording techniques. On the final track, Hubbard’s own “Byrdlike,” the sparks fly off trombone, sax, and trumpet in ever growing spirals. This is real; blistering be-bop for those of us that can’t get enough. Recorded in 1981. Personnel: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet). Recording information: 08/1982. Personnel includes: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Richie Cole (alto saxophone); George Cables (piano); Ashley Alexander, Andy Simpkins, John Dentz, Med Flory. Personnel includes: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Richie Cole (alto saxophone); Ashley Alexander (trombone); George Cables (piano); Andy Simkins (bass); John Dentz (drums). ~ cduniverse
September 10th will see the arrival of Subliminal Leaps via Peter Evan’s More is More Records. Comprising four of the leading improvisational musicians of this age, the Subliminal Leaps LP looks like it will be a very important recording in the canon of output from baritone sax legend Charles Evans and Miles Davis alumni and soprano specialists Dave Liebman. Working with the rhythm section of Ron Stabinsky (piano) and Tony Marino (bass), the selections that make up the new LP were captured in singular takes with the natural deep acoustics of a church in Pennsylvania serving as the means of studio space. A short excerpt of live footage from the Subliminal Leaps sessions has been uploaded online by Charles Evans, serving as a really good introduction to the type of variation of improvisatory music that one can expect on the album.