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Album Review

Sasha Mashin: Happy Synapse


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Sasha Mashin: Happy Synapse
Whoa! Russian born drummer Sasha Mashin kicks off his high-flying second disc with the crackling, manically modal, high-powered, retro-Impulse! speed-buzz of "The Hidden Voice," written by fevered alto-saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, and Happy Synapse barely lets up from there.

It is a sweet sound, a really, really sweet sound. Mashin intros "The Hidden Voice" like a flash bomb. Pianist Benito Gonzalez block chords in like McCoy Tyner behind Elvin Jones and it is off to the races as Giuliani, trumpeter Josh Evans and tenor saxophonist Dmitry Mospan ignite amid the structured abandon that bassist Makar Novikov somehow holds to form. The whole track is a true blast, sending a clear signal that Mashin and company mean business.

Mospan's toboganning, twelve-minute plus "Incantation" follows; it is an exhilarating extension of the opening vibe which features more than ample and challenging space for any of the six to tighten the reins or loosen them as they see fit. It is like one of those thrilling sleigh rides that kids wish would never end despite the unknown obstacles ahead. Also coming down the hill wildly is the bop-driven "Inner News" by Mospan. Gonzalez rides all over Evans' "Sulieman Saud," while the trumpeter's second offering, the heat-seeking "Sim Card" breaks from the gate with Evans and Mashin leading the charge.

Mashin and company make no bones about Happy Synapse being spiritually and artistically influenced by the sound and feel of John Coltrane's classic quartet and, given all the glorious evidence, why should they? Who better to be influenced by?

Track Listing

The Hidden Voice; Incantation; Flowing; Inner News; Sulieman Saud; Night Melody; SIM Card; The Hidden Face of Stars.


Sasha Mashin: drums; Josh Evans: trumpet; Rosario Giuliani: saxophone, alto; Makar Novikov: bass; Dmitry Mospan: saxophone, tenor.

Album information

Title: Happy Synapse | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Rainy Days Records

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