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Alex Sipiagin: New Path 2

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In the 25 years since Alex Sipiagin emigrated to the United States from Russia, he has become an A-list New York trumpet player. As sideman or leader, his work is consistent. He always brings it. On his new album he plays with typical fierce intelligence. But New Path 2 is a failed experiment.

Many of today’s players think that difficult chord progressions and misplaced basslines and, especially, straight eighths, sound modern. It is true that straight eighths, by foregoing conventional swing, can turn time abstract. But the issue with this record is not harmony or meter. Sipiagin’s rhythm section (Misha Tsiganov/Boris Kozlov/Donald Edwards) generates powerful free energy without walking bass or swinging cymbals. Tsiganov speaks Fender Rhodes fluently.

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