All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

275

Misha Alperin: Her First Dance

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
With Her First Dance, Moldavian pianist Misha Alperin returns to ECM six years after the release of Night (2002). He brings with him two past musical partners—cellist Anja Lechner, who appeared on Night, and also with bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi on the phenomenal Ojos Negros (ECM, 2007), and horn player Arkady Shilkloper, whom Alperin first met in 1983. The two recorded their first ECM disc in 1989, Wave Of Sorrow (1990), under the name Mikhail Alperin.

The mood of the music, composed by Alperin except for Shilkloper's "The Russian Song," is immediate and strong from the first notes. Alperin has spent his career fusing jazz, as he understands the term, with the folk music of Moldavia, which has Russian and Romanian roots, with every tune's basis in that music. The album is also held together by a single overarching theme, which is developed and mutated on each track, using different personnel.

The emotional climate is generally somber but not morose, achieving an intensity by creating a sense of being alone on a vast plain, despite the occasional romps of "Jump" and the fast sections of "Vayan." This is introspective music, with Alperin carefully controlling the overall pace through the arrangements. Exactly how much of the music is notated and how music is improvised is unclear, becoming unimportant in that Alperin's musical and emotional world is extremely vivid and moving.

Helping to create this sound world is the location of the recording, the Auditorio Radio Svizzera in Lugano, Switzerland. Although a number of recent ECM recordings have taken place there, the room's acoustic characteristics came to light on trumpeter Enrico Rava and pianist Stefano Bollani's The Third Man (ECM, 2008).

Lechner and Shilkloper are able to take full advantage of the room's warm and lively acoustics. Both are extremely lyrical players who make their respective instruments sing, filling the space with their lines. Their skill and passion are particularly noticeable when they play together, particularly as a duo on Shilkloper's "The Russian Song," which could easily be considered the album's high point, but also as a full trio on "Triflis."

Alperin is a masterful pianist whose precision belies his classical background, playing five solo pieces, two with Lechner, and one with Shilkloper. Although his technical ability is easily heard and impressive, his full musical gifts are brought to the fore when he plays with Lechner and Shilkloper, meshing his emotions, which evolve from his sharp and pointed playing, with their legato and singing lines.

If the success of an album is measured by the degree to which the emotions created demand and get full attention, then Her First Dance is a winner.

Track Listing: Vayan; Her First Dance; A New Day; April in February; Jump; Tiflis; Lonely in White; Frozen Tears; The Russian Song; Via Dolorosa.

Personnel: Misha Alperin: piano; Arkady Shilkloper: French horn, flugelhorn; Anja Lechner: violoncello.

Title: Her First Dance | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Her First Dance

Her First Dance

ECM Records
2008

buy
Night

Night

ECM Records
2002

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Falando Docemente" CD/LP/Track Review Falando Docemente
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Alto Gusto" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Screen Sounds" CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017