A heralded outsider, Russian pianist Simon Nabatov imparts a personal spin on a selection of legendary jazz pianist Herbie Nichols' discography. Here, Nabatov performs solo, exuding his habitual creative sparks during these interrogations and investigations of Nichols' often-overlooked body of work. Featuring integrations of traditional jazz applications with austere classicism, bop, world-beat grooves and more, the pianist duly underscores Nichols' knotty rhythmic persuasions.
Throughout, Nabatov tears down these compositions and re-engineers the various melodies and structures. With flourishing cadenzas, trickling harmonics and a host of expressive formations, the artist sustains a high-level of interest. On "The Spinning Song," he conveys great sensitivity yet flexes some muscle during various passages.
Complete with rollicking progressions, spinning notes and haunting contrasts, the pianist seamlessly melds a fire and brimstone outline into bluesy statements and energized chord clusters. Nabatov explores an abundance of rhythmic variations and tinkers with the free-zone in spots, but closes the piece on a whimper, as if to suggest the gas tank is on empty. Indeed, he exhausts a cavalcade of ideologies, running on overdrive to offset the temperate moments with compassion and poise.
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