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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CD Review: Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm - Robin Goodie

Zhenya  Strigalev (alt); Ambrose Akinmusire (tpt); Taylor Eigsti (pno); Tim Lefevbre (bs gtr); Larry Grenadier (dbl bs); Eric Harland (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Russian saxist Strigalev describes Robin Goodie as a mixture of Robin Hood and Boogie Woogie - what the Friar Tuck is that all about?
Strigalov confesses that he hasn't read The Adventures of Robin Hood but that he has seen the film! Which one? Robin Hood films probably outnumber James Bond's epics!
My suggestion is, forget about Sherwood Forest and Maid Marian and just enjoy the music which, for those of a contemporary bent, is superb. It's bebop with a 21st century feel and Stringvalev fires his musical arrows as effectively as Will Scarlett and Co did theirs.
The arrangements are well thought out and the solos by Strigalev, Akinmsire and Eigsti really sparkle. I'm not too sure about using two basses  - they don't get in each other's way but nor am I sure if the extra depth adds or detracts either.
Strigalev composed and arranged the tracks and he ticks a lot of boxes - he even manages to sound lyrical when straying towards the other side and when sanity prevails he can swing with the best of them.
Likewise Akinmusire, who impresses throughout, can hold his own on either side of the fence.
The album is released by Whirlwind on Feb. 2 and the official launch is at Ronnie's on Feb.16 where they've already played a sell-out gig.
Lance.

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