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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan: Shadow Theater

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Pianist Tigran Hamasyan's Shadow Theater is an innovative convergence of composition and folk music from his birthplace in Armenia. Having performed since the age of three, gained acclaimed in Europe and won first place at the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, there's never been a question of his abilities. He shines in a traditional jazz trio setting in 2007's New Era (Plus Loin Music) with brothers François Moutin (bass) and Louis Moutin (drums) or showcasing virtuoso exploits in his 2011 solo release Fable (Verve). With musicians that include members of the jazz-rock band Kneebody (drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan: A Fable

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The young, Armenian-born pianist Tigran Hamasyan possesses an almost intimidating virtuosity, a style that owes as much to Art Tatum's two-handed volubility and the sweeping refinement of Impressionist composers as it does to the spiraling, East-meets-West melodies of his homeland. Winner of the 2006 Thelonious Monk Institute's piano competition, New Era (2008, Nocturne) found Hamasyan settling into a familiar, if impressive trio aesthetic, mining the angular vernacular of modern jazz piano on now-standard vehicles like “Well, You Needn't" or “Solar," as well as on some of his own lovely compositions. So it is a welcome surprise to hear the dreamlike, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan Trio: New Era

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Tigran Hamasyan has been fascinated with music since the age of two. Born in Gyumri (Armenia) in 1987, he caught the jazz bug at age seven and was soon playing piano and experimenting with improvisation. Studying music formally and practicing constantly, Hamasyan also immersed himself in his native land's rich folk music, which he incorporated into his jazz performances. He won prizes in a number of music contests, though his crowning achievement was his first-place award in the 2006 Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition. Bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Louis Moutin join him for his second CD, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan: New Era

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Armenian-born pianist Tegran Hamasyan is a striking talent, corresponding to his 2006 win of the Thelonious Monk piano competition. And with the Moutin brothers providing the largely peppy rhythms, the leader of this date transcends what many would surmise from a twenty year-old. Blessed with monstrous chops and a unique musical vision, the pianist seamlessly fuses Euro-folk melodies into a pulsating string of compositions, often tagged with brisk time changes and budding themes.

Hamasyan dances across the eighty-eights with eloquence and power as he augments his acoustic piano performances with electric piano and synths. His primary mode of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tigran Hamasyan: New Era

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Tigran Hamasyan New Era Nocturne 2006

At twenty-one, pianist Tigran Hamasyan has already done much to launch his name into the world of emergent young lions. He has toured throughout Europe, moving beyond his native Armenia to take prizes in jazz competitions from Moscow to Monaco. And, after winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition in 2006, he studied in the United States before returning to Paris, where he recorded his first album, New Era.

Hamasyan's predicament is a common one. Like many young jazz musicians releasing their first records, he tries to ...



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