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Alex Sipiagin: Generations (2010)

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Alex Sipiagin: Generations How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Alex Sipiagin pays it forward with his eighth Criss Cross release, Generations, dedicated to the late Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
1944 - 1989
trumpet
, a lesser celebrated but brilliant trumpeter who performed with artists including Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds
, Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
, Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
1928 - 1964
reeds
, Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill
1937 - 2007
piano
. A fiery stylist with perfect pitch and lyricism, Shaw was admired by peers and emulated by up-and-comers as Sipiagin confirms, "Even now, many years later, every time I listen to Woody, I always find something new and inspiring."

Sipiagin is also a stylist himself; an exceptional player and leader whose clarion horn has been called upon by bassist Dave Holland
Dave Holland
Dave Holland
b.1946
bass
and saxophonist Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
. The trumpeter's band members are also leaders who have appeared on many of his releases, and were all members of various Brecker groups over the years, including the rhythmic underpinning of bassist Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
b.1967
bass
and drummer Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez
b.1971
drums
. Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers

guitar
, another leader in his own right, is the perfect complement to Sipiagin's warm tonality; a guitarist who continues to unveil his superlative skills on the similarly themed Due Reverence (Posi-Tone, 2010), saxophonist Ralph Bowen's tribute to other lesser-known but influential musicians.

The trumpeter's group is convincing, with a persuasive mix of fresh Sipiagin originals and Shaw reworks that are pristine reflections and contrasts of both musicians. Rogers cooks up a funky riff throughout Sipiagin's "Greenwood I" and "Greenwood II" (an alternate take and a nod to older recordings), as the trumpeter throws down melodic notes with cool precision, shifting between multiple changes of swing. "Windy Bahn" is another original, initially sketched on the trumpeter's computer, a composition that features jagged tempo changes.

The spirit of the great B3 organist Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young
1940 - 1978
organ, Hammond B3
, with whom Shaw frequently performed, looms on three tracks—Young's "Obsequious," as well as Shaw's "Cassandranite" and "Beyond All Limits." They're perfect examples of the elders' progressive ideas in structure and harmony, along with the keen arrangements with which Sipiagin highlights each musician—the trumpeter's lucidity, Sanchez's detailed traps, Kozlov's meaty yet lithesome fingerings, and Rogers' liquid maneuvers.

Referencing Shaw's biography and Sipiagin's liner notes, some historical points concerning these jazz musicians is noteworthy: First, Shaw felt an immediate connection to another forerunner, trumpeter Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
, who died in June 1956, the same month and year he started playing. Second, the first time Sipiagin heard Shaw was around 1985, while studying in Russia; four years before Shaw's untimely passing in 1989.

From one impactful connection to the next; the music continues its vitality.


Track Listing: Greenwood I; Obsequious; Cassandranite; Beyond All Limits; Windy Bahn; Katrina Ballerina; Chance; Blues for Wood; Greenwood II.

Personnel: Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Adam Rogers: guitar; Boris Kozlov: bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums.

Record Label: Criss Cross

Style: Modern Jazz


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