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Shahin Novrasli's Reviews and Press Coverage


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Shahin Novrasli

February 6, 2014
The Guardian
John Fordham -
Shahin Novrasli: Bayati - review Tumultuous fusions...Shahin Novrasli

Shahin Novrasli: Bayati - review

By John Fordham, Published: Thursday 6 February 2014

Tumultuous fusions...Shahin Novrasli

Shahin Novrasli is an eclectic Azerbaijani musician, who - like compatriot pianists Vagif Mustafazade and Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - has built a reputation beyond his homeland for a tumultuous fusion of American jazz and the local mugam folk tradition. Novrasli was a local classical star in his teens, and his jazz virtuosity is often breathtaking - like Brad Mehldau's contrapuntal-improv approach delivered at blazing tempos, or Herbie Hancock's left-hand chording reworked with jarring harmonies and wilful rhythmic diversions. Novrasli's themes seem informed by his folk roots and Broadway songs, and he loves rapidly churning ostinato patterns over rocking hooks, multi-themed slow-burners (the tune of Bayati Shiraz is a rumble of low chords, briefly harrumphing rejoinders and short bursts of whirling dance melody), soft meditations against left-hand walks that snap into silky, Bill Evans-like swing. His touch is exquisite and his speed jaw-dropping, and if his flood-tides of sound can swamp you after an hour or so, there are more than enough startlingly fresh ideas here, from a culture still relatively unfamiliar to jazz.





   
   
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