Exposé Online banner

Amina Figarova / Edition 113 — Persistence
(AmFi Records, 2020, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-04-02

Persistence Cover art

Amina Figarova is a jazz keyboardist and composer originally from Azerbaijan and now based in New York. I’m not familiar with her previous recordings, which range back 20 years as a leader, but for Persistence she’s teamed up with a combo she calls Edition 113, featuring Rez Abbasi (guitar), Yasushi Nakamura (bass), Rudy Royston (drums), and Bart Platteau (flute). Figarova herself plays a variety of keyboard instruments, but electric piano is by far the most prominent, and this gives the album a distinct flavor of 70s electric jazz. When Platteau is in the mix, I’m reminded of the first two Return to Forever albums, though with less percussion, and this impression is heightened by Figarova’s phrasing, which does sometimes resemble Chick Corea’s. Her playing is sophisticated and fluid, full of tasty chording that doesn’t rely on too much dissonance, and while a few tracks are a bit too laid-back for my taste, the up-tempo tunes like the opening title track more than make up for it. She occasionally brings in a synthesizer for a solo spot, and her sensibility on the pitch bends is also a bit Corea-like. Platteau is a fine player as well, providing the bulk of the melodies, often in conjunction with the electric piano, and he sometimes ventures into applying effects to his tone. Abbasi is a known quantity, and his excellent guitar work provides many of the album’s highlights, sometimes providing support in a Bill Frisell mode, sometimes bringing his distinctive melodic sense to the table with subtle use of effects. Nakamura and Royston are a fine rhythm section, with Nakamura on electric or acoustic bass as the need arises. The other factor I haven’t mentioned yet is vocals — Paul Jost contributes a wordless melody on a track, rapper Jswiss appears on “I’ve Got No Time,” and “Bliss” features Skye's World, another rapper. Maybe some jazz purists will find these voices problematic, but I find that both men have delivery and content that is compatible with the jazz setting. This is of course not the first time rappers have contributed to a jazz album, but it’s well done, and just one aspect of a fine release that brings many pleasant references to mind.


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Rez Abbasi, Amina Figarova

More info
http://www.aminafigarova.com/albums/

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tipographica - The Man Who Does Not Nod – Although this fabulous Japanese quintet made a big splash with their self-titled debut last year, that album was actually recorded in 1992. This new release, a collection of seven live performances,...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues