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ALBUM REVIEWS

Amina Figarova: Road To The Sun

Read "Road To The Sun" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Amina Figarova, born in Baku, Azerbaijin, experienced one of the United States' darkest days--the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack--up close, from the vantage point of a friend's apartment in Brooklyn. The experience resulted in the creation of perhaps the most poignant and heartfelt artistic representations of the event, Figarova's sextet recording September Suite (Munich Records, 2005), an “Ode To Mourning" of sorts for America. Figarova has stayed busy since then, releasing Above The Clouds (Munich Music, 2008), Twelve (In ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amina Figarova: Blue Whisper

Read "Blue Whisper" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Pianist and composer Amina Figarova is truly a citizen of the world. Born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan, she decamped to the Netherlands in the 1980s to study at the Rotterdam Conservatory, and then to Boston in 1989 to continue her studies at Berklee. Blue Whisper is her 12th recording as a leader, but her first to feature a band comprised primarily of US-based musicians. Aside from Bart Platteau (also Figarova's husband), the only holdovers from her excellent Netherlands-based band, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Amina Figarova Sextet: Golden, CO, March 6, 2013

Read "Amina Figarova Sextet: Golden, CO, March 6, 2013" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Amina Figarova SextetMount Vernon Country ClubGolden, COMarch 6, 2013What do “jazz" and “Azerbaijan" have in common? Both have a “z" in their names. And jazz pianist Amina Figarova is from Azerbaijan. That's probably about it. Azerbaijan produces about as many international jazz stars as Cuba produces downhill ski champions. But there are exceptions to every rule. To be fair, Azerbaijan does have a jazz scene, it's just that not many Azerbaijanis break out to the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amina Figarova: Twelve

Read "Twelve" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Calling Amina Figarova merely a jazz impressionist does injustice to the full breadth of the pianist's vision and does not reflect the uniqueness of her artistry. That said, most of her compositions do have an impressionistic bent. The nocturnal “Shut Eyes, Sea Waves...," for instance, on Twelve (her twelfth release as a leader), uses her cascading piano and Dutch drummer Chris Strik's gentle cymbals to paint a picture of waves crashing against the shore. The salty air is almost palpable ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amina Figarova: Twelve

Read "Twelve" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Change is in the air that pianist/composer Amina Figarova is breathing. While the personnel from her previous outing is still intact, and her personal aesthetic remains largely unaltered, she comes to this album with a different worldview and a new place to call home. The Azerbaijan-born Figarova and husband/band mate/flautist Bart Platteau had been based in Rotterdam for quite some time, but decided to move stateside in 2010. This change of scenery served as the inspiration for the twelve-song suite ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Amina Figarova in Concert, La Jolla, CA, Feb. 26, 2009

Read "Amina Figarova in Concert, La Jolla, CA, Feb. 26, 2009" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Amina Figarova Sextet Athenaeum Music and Arts Museum La Jolla, California February 26, 2009If you can believe pianist/composer Amina Figarova--speaking to the audience after her opening tunes at the February 26, 2009 show at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Museum in La Jolla (San Diego), California--she is “...just the person who writes the notes." She credits her band with realizing her musical vision. True to an extent, but her self-effacement is reminiscent of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amina Figarova: Above the Clouds

Read "Above the Clouds" reviewed by J Hunter

On September Suite (Munich, 2005), Amina Figarova's inspiration was one of the biggest events this generation may ever know--the September 11th attacks, and their psychological aftermath. While Above the Clouds's subject matter is both smaller and lighter, Figarova again chooses a large medium and a multi-colored palate to illustrate her vision. And this is all to the good because, in many ways, Clouds is the antithesis of September.

Much of Clouds's emotional foundation comes from the words of Figarova's mother: ...


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