Alex Sipiagin – Horizons (ENG review)

Blue Room Music – Street Date June 24th 2024
Alex Sipiagin – Horizons

Trumpeter and extremely talented composer, Alex Sipiagin, will release his new album “Horizons” at the end of June. This album, once again, caters to connoisseurs; right from the first track, listeners are immersed in a high-level form of jazz-fusion where each instrumentalist shines with inventiveness. Alex Sipiagin features on trumpet and flugelhorn, with the excellent Chris Potter on saxophones, John Escreet on piano and keyboards, Eric Harland on drums, and Matt Brewer on bass. The album consists of new compositions, except for two tracks which are Pat Metheny covers, likely difficult to recognize due to their reinterpretation. Jazz festivals worldwide have seen Alex Sipiagin perform with artists such as Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, the Mingus bands, and many others. In 1990, Alex participated in the Louis Armstrong International Competition sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute in Washington DC, winning top honors. After over 30 years of living in New York, he has since moved to Italy.

But that’s not all; if this album is impressive, it is probably also due to the many talented musicians who have called upon him since 2003, recording with Michael Brecker’s Quindectet and touring with the Michael Brecker Sextet. Alex has also worked with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Elvis Costello, Michael Franks, Dave Sanborn, Deborah Cox, legendary producer Phil Ramone, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, among others. Many recordings he has participated in have been nominated for and/or won Grammy Awards. He is part of the Grammy Award-winning albums of the Dave Holland Big Band, “What Goes Around” and “Overtime,” Michael Brecker’s Quintet “Wide Angles,” and Dafnis Prieto Big Band’s “Into the Sunset.”

A single listen is not enough to absorb such an album; it requires returning to it again and again, taking the time, as the beauty of this album is hidden in the smallest details of the arrangements – it is a masterpiece! Alex Sipiagin continues his musical experiments, and this album “Horizon” should be seen as an artistic milestone in his career. This year, Alex has collaborated as a soloist with several major ensembles in Europe, including the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for Fekete-Kovács Kornél, Alex’s original compositions with the Slovenian Radio Television Big Band titled “New York Sketches,” and the Romanian Radio Big Band titled “Wind Dance.” In August 2022, Alex Sipiagin also received a commission to arrange his music and perform with a contemporary string quartet at summer festivals in Austria and Germany.

The experience is as comfortable as listening to a classic Weather Report album; if he were still with us, it is likely that we would find Wayne Shorter on such an album. Jazz enthusiasts will certainly be delighted to purchase this CD, which, though complex, is a real treat to listen to – more than enough to earn a place in our series of “Essentials.”

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, May 31st 2024

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