Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

20

Tigran Hamasyan: Shadow Theater

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Tigran Hamasyan's Shadow Theater is an innovative convergence of composition and folk music from his birthplace in Armenia. Having performed since the age of three, gained acclaimed in Europe and won first place at the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, there's never been a question of his abilities. He shines in a traditional jazz trio setting in 2007's New Era (Plus Loin Music) with brothers Francois Moutin (bass) and Louis Moutin (drums) or showcasing virtuoso exploits in his 2011 solo release Fable (Verve).

With musicians that include members of the jazz-rock band Kneebody (drummer Nate Wood and saxophonist Ben Wendel) and others, Hamasyan's distinctive musicality blends jazz, European classical music and an array of influences like progressive-rock and DJ mixing. Yet the common thread is the inventive way the music balances ethnicity with a modernist verve. This propels "Erishta" via traditional melodies interlaced with electronics and beautiful vocals by talented folklorist Areni Agbabian as well as the peculiar "Drip" which mixes Armenian folk music, sampling, and groovy jazz saxophone.

The program is sprinkled with an assortment of hymns, ballads, and moving pieces such as "Lament" which juxtaposes powerful strings and tender vocals and the transcendent "Pagan Lullaby" highlighting Hamasyan on keyboard, piano, and voice. "The Court Jester" and "Road Song" are unwavering examples of writing and improvisation with their vigorous changes and odd time signatures, but equally engaging through catching melodies and Hamasyan's intrepid sense of imagination in one of the year's more memorable recordings.

Track Listing: The Poet; Erishta; Lament; Drip; The Year Is Gone; Seafarer; The Court Jester; Pagan Lullaby; Pt1 Collapse; Pt2 Alternative Universe; Holy; Road Song.

Personnel: Tigran Hamasyan: piano, keyboards; Areni Agbabian: vocals; Ben Wendel: saxophone; Sam Minaie: bass; Chris Tordini: bass; Nate Wood: drums; Jean-Marc Phillips Varjabedian: violin; Xavier Phillips: cello; Jan Bang: programming; David Kiledjian: programming.

Title: Shadow Theater | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Verve international


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!