Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

166

Misha Alperin in Tel Aviv

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Misha Alperin
Israel Conservatory of Music
Tel Aviv, Israel
Nov. 9, 2005

Pianist Mikhail (Misha) Alperin is a musical nomad. Not only between territories—he was born in Ukraine, grew up in Moldavia, and began to gain his reputation while residing in Moscow, where he founded the Moscow Art Trio with horn player Arkady Shilkloper and traditional singer Sergei Starostin. Since 1993 he has lived in Oslo, where he is a professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music (among his students are pianists Helge Lien and Morten Qvenild of In The Country and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra). He is a nomad between traditions and genres, studying classical music but soon finding himself earning his living at Moldavian weddings and skillfully integrating elements of Russian and Balkan folk melodies, jazz and rock into his music.

His solo piano recital in Tel Aviv was a rare opportunity to encounter the many sides of this original musician. The first new suite that Alperin played was in line with his recent releases for ECM, in which he usually conforms with the icy minimalism of the prestigious label. The suite offered ten variations on a Nordic folk tune, and Alperin colored each variation with different shades and timbres, lingering on every note—sometime for seconds—and using his commanding touch of the piano and his wide harmonic vocabulary. He interpreted this simple tune in surprising ways—as a modern classical piece, as a free jazz improvisation—until he reduced it in the closing variation to a simple slow reading of the song itself.

The second new suite presented another side of Alperin, the funny and quirky one. The suite "My Dance" combined elements of swing jazz, Moldavian and Russian dances and even hints of Nordic folk music, and Alperin conjured these contrasting themes in a dazzling way, spicing the theme with seemingly foreign ingredients, and packing it into a provocative and delicious musical smorgasbord, while dancing and hopping around the piano.

For the first encore Alperin brought out a large metronome, and improvised an amusing piece in which he tried to rebel against the silent tyranny of the mechanical time-keeper. Alperin grunted, growled and mocked the metronome to no avail, until he dutifully complied with its rhythm. The second encore was a short meditative piece that was a heartfelt tribute to one of his lasting influences, Bill Evans. The audience cried for more.

Photo Credit: Genehmigung von Jaro Medien

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "The Comet Is Coming at Black Box" Live Reviews The Comet Is Coming at Black Box
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Daniel Bennett Group at Tomi Jazz" Live Reviews Daniel Bennett Group at Tomi Jazz
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "The Specials at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Specials at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2017