Following their much-praised debut - described as having "all the knife-edge momentum and skilled improvisatory abandon of its leader" by Jazzwise Magazine and "a real sense of a band in the making" by the Financial Times - Strigalev leads an all-star American band that includes Blue Note-signed trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, double bassist Larry Grenadier (known for his work with Brad Mehldau and Pat Metheny), electric bassist Tim Lefebvre (sideman to Wayne Krantz and Michael Wollny), pianist Taylor Eigsti (whose many credits include Joshua Redman and Christian McBride) and high-profile drummer Eric Harland (whose recent work includes being a member of bassist Dave Holland's band Prism, as well as work with Charles Lloyd and McCoy Tyner).
Smiling Organizm frequently subvert the standard sounds and roles of soloist and rhythm section, with Lefebvre's subtle electronic effects and wiry guitar-like sounds layered between Grenadier's emphatic swing, Eigsti's lush yet angular harmonies and finely poised solos from Akinmusire and Strigalev. Harland meanwhile deftly maps out the rhythmic terrain, cleverly morphing simple grooves into multi-layered percussive landscapes. 'Robin Goodie' is a powerful mix of the saxophonist's many musical loves, the heart of which is high-octane, hard-swinging post bop. This is an ensemble work that showcases Strigalev's razor-sharp instincts as composer and arranger, as well as the depth of his knowledge of a wide range of musical styles, from free improv to funky fusion, out-and-out swing and extended harmonically rich melodies.
Personnel: Zhenya Strigalev (alto saxophone), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Taylor Eigsti (piano), Tim Lefebvre (electric bass), Larry Grenadier (double bass), Eric Harland (drums)
- Horizontal Appreciation
- Sharp Night
- Unlimited Source of Pleasure
- Robin Goodie
- Personal Opinion
- Urgent Ballad
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