Alex Sipiagin : Mel’s Vision Review
Alex Sipiagin is a jazz trumpeter and composer who built an impressive thirteen-album catalog as a leader. His thirteenth album is titled Mel’s Vision and is being released on the Criss Cross label. The ensemble is Sipiagin on trumpet, tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Johnathan Blake. The set has three originals, a Ukrainian folk melody, and seven other songs from the jazz catalog.
The title track, “Mel’s Vision,” opens the project with the ensemble creating a beautiful modern jazz setting. Kikoski’s shifting chords set the tone in the intro before the two horns enter with the melody. Potter and Sipiagin have a long history of playing together, and their chemistry is terrific. The ensemble works perfectly to create a stunningly played opening track that is absolutely about feel, interaction, and stunning melodic improvisation. Sipiagin, Potter, and Kikoski all turn in outstanding solos.
There is no denying Sipiagin’s and Potter’s virtuoso command of their instruments and understanding of the jazz language. A fine example of this is “Brid Food,” which has two takes on the album. Hearing this ensemble approach rhythm changes is a study in modern jazz through an ‘old’ and well-known set of changes. Sipiagin and Potter do not disappoint on both takes, as their solos are beautifully done and equally compelling. The modern colors and flowing rhythmic drive are at the heart of the performances.
Mel’s Vision is an extraordinarily brilliant and wonderfully enjoyable modern jazz album. The ensemble has wonderful interaction, and the solos are beautifully done and equally compelling.