How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The title of Come Escape With Me resembles the debut recordings of Norah Jones and Nellie McKay within the past few years, and the photogenic cover shot of Amina Figarova on this album seems to announce the arrival of another singer/songwriter. Alas, marketing being what it is, this is neither a debut nor a singer.
Jazz pianist/composer Amina Figarova is an Azerbaijan native now residing in Rotterdam who has led this group for several years. This is her fifth album for Munich Records. The strength of this release is the pianist's sense of composition and arranging skills, as well as the quality of the musicians in her septet. The dozen tunes are all originals and all fit well within the jazz mainstream. In fact, it is hard to differentiate these Dutch musicians from the many well-known jazz combos that have played and recorded over the past few decades here.
Most impressive are the work of flautist Bart Platteau (Figarova's husband) on the ballads "Reaching Out To You" and "Awakening"; the alto sax of Tom Beek on "Market Place" and "Reaching Out To You"; and the trumpet work of Marcel Reys on "Dancing in the Wind." "Destiny" is a reflective piano piece for Amina Figarova.