7

Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm: Robin Goodie

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm: Robin Goodie
Saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm is an outfit that grooves, sputters, stutters, swings, skulks, and slaloms its way through the dark and funky, slick and dangerous, and wholly gripping music presented on Robin Goodie.

Strigalev paints striking, rhythmically vivacious canvases here with some help from five American heavyweights—trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Eric Harland, bass guitarist Tim Lefebvre, bassist Larry Grenadier, and pianist Taylor Eigsti. It would be hard to imagine a better group of modernists to work with, but Strigalev doesn't just surround himself with the best; he unifies them with his protean designs and spirited saxophone work.

Robin Goodie features original music that allows these stars to shine. Akinmusire is a force to be reckoned with, whether teaming up with Strigalev's alto, charging ahead on his own, or displaying bent-tone beauty with sighs, smears, and murmurs during "Lorton"; Eigsti's curiosity is at the heart of many a passage; Lefebvre's scrappy bass guitar work and ghost-in-the-machine electronic effects add an otherworldly element to the music; Harland's fractured beats, skittering rhythms, drum 'n' bass allusions, and swinging suggestions take these songs to great heights; and Grenadier adds poise, class, charm, and weight to the music. And then there's Strigalev. His alto prowls on "Renduta," projects a cocksure attitude during "Unlimited Source Of Pleasure," and darts through "Sharp Night" as if benzedrine, (free) bop and Ornette Coleman had invaded his mind and body.

There's a good deal of darkness in this music, but that's not the defining force here. There's also some humor, shown in the way the band plays with musical schizophrenia on the twisted and amped-up title track; playfulness, demonstrated during the sprinting "Sharp Night" and the hip-turned-unraveled-turned-hip "Personal Opinion"; and serenity, expressed through "Urgent Ballad." Strigalev strings together a variety of emotions, ultimately creating music that comes on strong and leaves a lasting impression.

Track Listing

KUKU; Horizontal Appreciation; Sharp Night; Pinch; Unlimited Source of Pleasure; Stake; Robin Goodie; Lorton; Personal Opinion; Urgent Ballad; Renduta.

Personnel

Zhenya Strigalev: alto sax; Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet; Taylor Eigsti: piano; Tim LeFebvre: bass guitar; Larry Grenadier: double bass; Eric Harland: drums.

Album information

Title: Robin Goodie | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read West Meets East
West Meets East
Adam Shulman Septet
Read Fela's First
Fela's First
Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers
Read The Rise Up
The Rise Up
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Read New York Moment
New York Moment
JC Hopkins Biggish Band

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.