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August 5, 2010

  To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
Press Contact: Jim Eigo, jazzpromo@earthlink.net

Photo by Andrea Canter

* Release in time for her sextet’s Newport Jazz Fest mainstage debut *
“… Figarova is among the most important composers to come into jazz in the new millennium…"
—    Thomas Conrad,
"…Amina Figarova boasts a graceful and erudite piano style, but her second instrument is her band….A first rate jazz pianist, Amina Figarova is staking out her ground as a top level composer-arranger…” —  Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Upcoming New York Performance:

Monday August 9, 2010:
Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
www.jalc.org <
http://www.jalc.org/>  (or to reserve: http://jalc.org/dccc/details09.asp?EventID=2410)
Shows at 7.30 PM and 9.30 PM

Amina Figarova – piano
Bart Platteau – flutes
Marc Mommaas – tenorsax
Ernie Hammes – trumpet
Jeroen Vierdag – bass
Chris “Buckshot” Strik – drums

USA August TOUR:
Saturday August 7, 2010: The Marblehead sunner Jazz Series, Marblehead, MA <http://www.marbleheadjazz.org/>
Sunday August 8, 2010: The Newport Jazzfestival, Newport, RI  <http://www.newportjazzfest.net/>
Monday August 9, 2010: Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY <http://www.jalc.org/>
Tuesday August 10, 2010:  Yoshi’s, Oakland, CA <http://www.yoshis.com/>
Thursday August 12, 2010: Kwuumbwa, Santa Cruz, CA <http://www.kuumbwajazz.org/>
Sunday August 15, 2010: The San Jose Jazzfestival, San Jose, CA <http://www.sanjosejazz.org/>
Monday August 16, 2010: Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA  <http://www.jazzalley.com/>


"Sketches" seems too modest a title for the works composer-pianist-bandleader Amina Figarova premieres with her international sextet on her new album Sketches, and performs during her summer U.S. tour, including a coveted first appearance on the main stage of the Carefusion Newport Jazz Festival, August 8.

  "Explorations," "Forays" or "Adventures" more accurately describes the artfully wrought, lovingly played arrangements, three to almost nine minutes long, which Amina created for her globetrotting ensemble, co-led by flutist Bart Platteau, her husband. It’s true: the band’s expressive front line of Platteau, trumpeter Ernie Hammes and tenor saxophonist Marc Mommaas, plus Amina’s extemporaneous engagement with rhythm-mates Jeroen Vierdag, bass, and Chris "Buckshot Strik, drums, fulfill both forms and feelings of the music she imagines. But this music comes not from hazy suggestions or broad gestures. Instead, Amina Figarova offers musicians and audiences alike gem-like pieces that, performed by her all-stars, reveal myriad dimensions.

  A fine balance of her detailed scores and the personalized expressivity of her "dear musical family" makes Sketches perhaps the best-realized of Amina’s dozen albums since Attraction in 1994. This balance characterizes the ensemble’s live shows, too, as will be heard during its August coast-to-coast performance schedule (see below).

  Amina’s music intrigues and beguiles. Her grooving piano ostinati and fleet single-note runs, mellifluous airs, new voicings and unusual stop-times may turn on a beat, lift off from a chord change or horn fanfare, arrive at surprises that later seem inevitable but in the instant sounded serendipitous. Solos by Platteau, Mommaas and Hammes arise spontaneously, infused with their own spirits.

  Yet Sketches is solidly structured and finely polished; immediate, yes, but flowing from deep background and focused reflections. It is music rooted in the progressive mainstream styles of post-beboppers including Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, as updated for the current generation by modernists such as orchestra leader Maria Schneider, whom Amina especially admires. Such sounds can only come thoughtful artists whose breadth and wealth of experience inform a commitment to beauty and craft. Amina Figarova is such a one.

  On Sketches, as on her previous albums Above the Clouds (2008), Come Escape With Me (2005), Amina and company revel in a rich and varied program. The album concentrates, though, on the central aspect of her stylistic grasp, which extends from avant-garde experiments (as in September Suite, her shocked and sad response to terrorists attacks on American soil) to multi-keyboard fusion-oriented funk (on Another Me). Always, her compositions are infused with grace, color and warmth, her solos with confident wit and her fellow musicians’ contributions with passionate originality. Amina Figarova makes the most of her music. Time and again she conjures multi-faceted, entertaining and affecting mini-concertos. Since she thinks of them as humble Sketches, one wonders what she will accomplish when she sets herself to writing masterworks.

  Figarova’s 2010 visit to America confirms the widespread appeal of a composer-pianist-bandleader who has the potential of attaining an even higher profile and enduring, boundary-less impact.

  Upcoming Performance by the Amina Figarova Sextet, supported in part by Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten Performing Arts Fund NL

(Press release by Howard Mandel c 2010)

Bart Platteau
USA: 917 992 5378
Netherlands: (+)31.653 390413
www.aminafigarova.com <http://www.aminafigarova.com>


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