CD REVIEW: Misha Tsiganov - Spring Feelings

Misha Tsiganov - Spring Feelings
(Criss Cross Jazz 1384. Review by Eric Ford)

Devotees of the warm, confident and rhythmically-strident playing associated with the Blue Note catalogue of the fifties and sixties, but who would like to hear that kind of material metrically and harmonically updated, but without losing any of its warmth, should look/listen no further than pianist Misha Tsiganov's Spring Feelings and its precursor, Artistry Of The Standard.

Whilst some of Tsiganov's arrangements must be intimidating to play - especially his version of ''Yes Or No'' and the opening ''You And The Night And The Music'' - they're scintillating to hear. A languid and stretched-out ''Infant Eyes'' and a playfully-complex The Night Has A Thousand Eyes round out the standards ; the remaining five tunes are Tsiganov's own. Alex Sipiagin describes Tsiganov as ''bright and positive'' and that description works equally well for his compositions.

To do this material justice, Tsiganov has re-assembled the same top-notch cast as on the previous cd but with Austrian uber-bassist Hans Glawischnig (familiar from his prodigious output with New York's leading names in contemporary Latin Jazz) replacing Boris Kozlov. Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin ( of the Mingus Big Band, Michael Brecker's Quindectet etc ), unassuming tenor titan Seamus Blake and drummer Donald Edwards are their customarily exceptional selves. Tsiganov too has that blend of technique, taste and imagination which makes his albums exciting, surprising and rewarding to listen to.

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