231

Tigran Hamasyan Trio: New Era

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Tigran Hamasyan Trio: New Era 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, where he shows off his tremendous chops without overpowering the listener, as many a young jazz virtuoso has done in the past. He opens the disc with a two-part piece—the thunderous post-bop "Homesick" and the hypnotic title track, the latter building upon a vamp and gradually growing in intensity, using electronic keyboards for color.

By contrast, his "Leaving Paris" is a somber romantic waltz. The traditional Armenian folk song "Aparani Par" celebrates harvest time, wildly alternating between 14/8 and 5/4 time signatures, adding Vardan Grigoryan on duduk and shivi. Hamasyan's loopy, reggae-accented arrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" is humorous, and he takes quite a few liberties with Miles Davis' "Solar" by altering its rhythmic structure and using its theme as a launching pad for his driving improvisation. The leader introduces his infectious "Gypsyology" on organ before returning to piano, conjuring images of a giant outdoor celebration centered on a circle of dancers.

Hamasyan's ability to blend so many musical influences makes New Era stand out from the flood of new CDs.

Track Listing: Part 1: Homesick; Par 2: New Era; Leaving Paris; Aparani Par; Well, You Needn't; Memories From Hankavan And Now; Gypsyology; Zada es (You're an ill-fated girl); Solar; Forgotten World.

Personnel: Tigran Hamasyan: piano and keyboards; Francois Moutin: bass; Louis Moutin: drums; Varden Grigoryan: duduk (4, 8), shivi (4), zuma (8).

Title: New Era | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nocturne


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Skylines" CD/LP/Track Review Skylines
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Hallways" CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Sektion 3-7" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 3-7
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "More Figs And Blue Things" CD/LP/Track Review More Figs And Blue Things
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.