2

Amina Figarova: Twelve

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Amina Figarova: Twelve
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 " Buckshot" Strik's gentle cymbals to paint a picture of waves crashing against the shore. The salty air is almost palpable in Figarova's husband and Brussels native Bart Platteau's flute playing. Luxembourgian Ernie Hammes' flugelhorn sings a complex and soothing lullaby, while the modal sounds of Figarova's own closing solo conjure images of a rocking cradle in their rhythmicity and melodicism.

Figarova imbues her originals with her sui generis persona, making them instantly recognizable. This is due to a mixture of expressionism without atonality and unparalleled improvisational and leadership skills.

"Leila" is dedicated to her grandmother, the director of a medical institute. In addition to creating a musical portrait, utilizing the contrast between Platteau's whimsical flute and the gravity of Strik's polyphonic drums, Figarova expresses her love and esteem through her own cool pianism and tenor saxophonist Marc Mommaas' reserved but intelligently crafted improvisation.

Figarova's sparse yet carefully played notes and the frontline's chorus of a languid vamp enhance the Zen atmosphere of "Morning Pace." Jeroen Vierdag's graceful and intricate bass and Hammes' introspective horn further the half-drowsy serenity of the piece.

Figarova's move to New York inspired this album, her second with the same sextet. Platteau, however, has been at her side throughout her career, while Strik has appeared on her records since 2004. Such familiarity does not undermine her superior abilities as a bandleader, as evidenced by just a single listen to the tightly swinging harmonies of "Make it Happen." Capable of coaxing the tonality of a progressive big band from only six people, bright and edgy extemporizations from Figarova and Hammes spring forth, only to melt back into it.

Figarova's style cannot be classified neatly in any traditional genre because she has forged an individual character. Her work is neither post-bop nor hard-bop—nor anything else, for that matter; it is simply Figarova. Rare are the musicians about whom this can be said.

Track Listing

NYCST; Another Side Of The Ocean; Sneaky Seagulls; Shut Eyes, Sea Waves,...; On The Go; Isabelle; Make It Happen; Twelve; New Birth; Morning Pace; Leila; Maria's Request.

Personnel

Amina Figarova: piano; Bart Platteau: flute, Bb flute d'amor; bass flute; ocarina; Ernie Hammes: trumpet, flugelhorn; Marc Mommaas: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Jeroen Vierdag: bass; Chris "Buckshot" Strik: drums.

Album information

Title: Twelve | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: In + Out Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Peter Bernstein
Read A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimême/Carlos Santos
Read Suite!
Suite!
Roberto Magris
Read Jammin' With KC
Jammin' With KC
Sylwester Ostrowski
Read Rhythm City
Rhythm City
Ptah Williams, Larry Kornfeld, Rob Silverman
Read Stringers & Struts
Stringers & Struts
Rempis/Parker/Flaten/Cunningham
Read Live In Maui
Live In Maui
Jimi Hendrix Experience

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.