All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Alex Sipiagin: Equilibrium

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Russian native Alex Sipiagin has been a first call trumpeter for several New York big bands for the past five years or so. A veteran of the Mingus Big Band, the Gil Evans Orchestra, and the Dave Holland Big Band, Sipiagin has been a favorite with critics but has yet to break though to the jazz public at large. Over the course of his three previous Criss Cross sides, the trumpeter has shown growth from a mainstream hard bop interpreter to an adventurous post bop progenitor.

Chock full of bristling improvisation, Equilibrium is arguably Sipiagin's best effort to date, and much of this is due to some fine writing no doubt influenced by Holland and a fantastic ensemble that includes saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist David Kikoski, and drummer Gene Jackson. Look no further than a run through Monk's "Evidence to hear that Sipiagin is not interested in run of the mill interpretations, but instead crafts arrangements and originals that are more about an elastic sense of time. Voicing the melody for two saxophones (Potter and David Binney) and his own muted trumpet, Sipiagin changes the rhythmic movement for a slightly off-kilter sound that suits the idiosyncratic nature of the piece to a tee.

Following the extroverted spirit of the opening "Mood 2, the title track, and the previously mentioned "Evidence, a dark and brooding "Sonhando Com O Meu Primeiro Amor by Brazilian heavyweight Toninho Horta finds Sipiagin at his lyrical best with a fat tone reminiscent of Freddie Hubbard. By contrast, the collective improvisation during two takes of "Free confirms that there are two sides to the trumpeter's personality and that he's not afraid to walk a musical tightrope without need for a safety net.

With a total being greater than the mere sum of its parts, Equilibrium serves as a complex and varied showcase for Alex Sipiagin and his top-notch crew of partners in crime. At the rate that he's going, there's no telling what even greater breakthroughs lie ahead for this forward-thinking musician.

Track Listing: Mood 2, Equilibrium, Evidence, Sonhando Com O Meu Primeiro Amor, Free 1, High, Good Morning, Blues For Kids, Free 2

Personnel: Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Chris Potter (saxophones), David Binney (saxophones), David Kikoski (piano), Scott Colley (bass), Gene Jackson (drums)

Title: Equilibrium | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Criss Cross


comments powered by Disqus



Alex Sipiagin
Alex Sipiagin: Live at Smalls

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Moments Captured

Moments Captured

Criss Cross

Balance 38-58

Balance 38-58

Criss Cross


Leap in the Dark

Jazz Mon Char


Related Articles

Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Carpe Diem CD/LP/Track Review
Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Exotica CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Oriental Orbit CD/LP/Track Review
Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Brightbird CD/LP/Track Review
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Horizontal Dialogues" CD/LP/Track Review Horizontal Dialogues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes" CD/LP/Track Review Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Old Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "From Outer Space" CD/LP/Track Review From Outer Space
by Thad Aerts
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 4, 2018