Pianist composer Amina Figarova hails from Azerbaijan. This portal between eastern Europe and western Asia seems an unlikely place for such an accomplished practitioner of Western jazz composition. On "Ernie's Song," named for trumpeter Ernie Hammes, she develops the theme by a repeated driving piano and bass line that carries throughout. The horns and brass follow the contrapuntal melody statement in building nice tension behind Strik's backbeat and Viedag's plucky bass. Starting his muted trumpet solo, Hammes stirs the embers by squeezing each note stubbornly through his horn's restricted bell before Schepers's own trumpet is released to full open expression. Figarova for her part takes a nice turn on her Fazioli grand with a staccato style that punctuates each note with animation. A worthy offering from a talented composer supported by accomplished musicians.
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