Alex Sipiagin

Out of the Circle

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Trumpeter/flügelhornist Alex Sipiagin is a veteran of the Mingus Big Band who has recorded extensively as a leader prior to this CD, though this is his first outing for a U.S. label. Aside from guitarist Adam Rogers, most of the artists are making their first appearances on a Sipiagin project, including trombonist Robin Eubanks, drummer Antonio Sanchéz, bassist Scott Colley, multi-reed player Donny McCaslin, and keyboardist Henry Hey. "Out of the Circle" is the most infectious selection, with its swirling bossa nova theme. The lively "Flash" is full of sudden twists, showcasing Colley and percusssionist Daniel Sadownick. The leader's wife, vocalist Monday Michiru, is added on several tracks. She has an engaging voice in the demanding Brazilian-flavored "Afternoon Dreams" (for which she wrote the lyrics). Michiru composed the pop ballad "Sketches of Myself," which is hampered somewhat by her distracting programming, though her husband's rich bass trumpet solo stands out.

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