All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Misha Tsiganov: Spring Feelings

Andrew Luhn By

Sign in to view read count
Those who appreciate and follow the art of arranging and orchestration in jazz often point to big band and large ensemble arrangements as examples of excellence, while the art of arranging jazz for the small ensemble is frequently overlooked. Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, and Andrew Hill are a few who have achieved recognition for their intelligent small-group arrangements, and with his newest release, Spring Feelings, pianist Misha Tsiganov brings his talent to this under-appreciated art.

For his second release on the Criss Cross label, Tsiganov's choice of sidemen to interpret his music is reminiscent of his 2014 release, The Artistry of the Standard. Returning are trumpet virtuoso Alex Sipiagin, tenor veteran Seamus Blake, and rising star drummer Donald Edwards, all common collaborators in the Opus 5 group. Seasoned bassist Hans Glawischnig fills in for Boris Kozlov on bass. Whereas Tsiganov's first Criss Cross release featured only his imaginative reworkings of standards, Spring Feelings mixes in five Tsiganov originals.

Throughout the hour long set, both the original material and the standards unmistakably bear Tsiganov's distinctive stamp. Tsiganov's melodies drift fluidly through constantly shifting meters and are punctuated by skipping, syncopated basslines that fit smartly with Tsiganov's colorful reharmonizations. The opening track, "You and the Night and The Music" exemplifies these characteristics and the band navigates Tsiganov's complex arrangement with ease. Donald Edwards in particular deserves a standing ovation for his graceful navigation of the band through the maze of ever-changing meters. "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" takes a similar approach with the band alternating between straight-eighth 9/4 feel and a up-tempo swing.

Tsiganov also tips his hat to one of jazz's master small group composers, Wayne Shorter, with reworkings of two Shorter tunes. "Infant Eyes" keeps its slow ballad feel but is given a new time feel that switches between 7/4 and 4/4. "Yes or No" also moves through a variety of time signatures with an energetic and attention-grabbing undercurrent from the rhythm section, which leads into some of the best solos in the album. Sipiagin leads things off with fiery solo over the band's tight swing until they switch to a floating 7 feel for the beginning of Blake's melodically driven tenor solo. The band switches back to swing for Tsiganov's excellent solo which builds impressively in intensity to an exciting pyrotechnic conclusion.

For Tsiganov's original tunes he focuses less on complex time signatures and more on memorable melodies. "Jumping Michael" maintains a 4/4 time signature but it's spacious, syncopated melody gives it a distinctively Latin feel. "Jed's Place" is taken at a medium swing and follows a fairly traditional form, allowing the soloists and interplay of the group to really shine. Blake's tenor solo on this tune is particularly memorable as he thoroughly explores and expands upon his melodic ideas. The title track closes out the album on a bright note with an "A" section that is composed entirely of major and suspended chords. Tsiganov's triumphant piano solo on this track serves as a fitting finale to the album.

With "Spring Feelings," Tsiganov explores a new approach to quintet orchestration and in the process, provides a challenging canvas for the musicians to navigate. They succeed admirably and create really remarkable music. The strength of the music is especially remarkable considering the short amount of time the band spent rehearsing (three hours) and in the studio (seven hours). From conception to execution, this music succeeds on all fronts.

Track Listing: You and The Night and The Music; Jed's Place; October in Kiev; Yes or No; Jumping Michael; Infant Eyes; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; Blues for Gerry; Spring Feelings

Personnel: Alex Sipiagin: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Seamus Blake: Tenor Sax; Misha Tsiganov: Piano; Hans Glawischnig: Bass; Donald Edwards: Drums

Title: Spring Feelings | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Criss Cross

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Weapons Of Mass Distraction" CD/LP/Track Review Weapons Of Mass Distraction
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "The Mugician" CD/LP/Track Review The Mugician
by Thomas Earl
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Heptagon" CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Directions" CD/LP/Track Review Directions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "90 Going On Amazing" CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Země" CD/LP/Track Review Země
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 12, 2018