Tough Customer

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Simon Nabatov
LABELS: Enja
WORKS: jazz
PERFORMER: Simon Nabatov Trio: Simon Nabatov (p); Mark Helias (b); Tom Rainey (d)
CATALOGUE NO: ENJ-7063 2

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Reflecting his cosmopolitan history, Simon Nabatov’s music is a subtly engaging mélange of the classical tradition and US free jazz, all filtered through what he describes as the ‘more subtle shades of blue’ associated with European jazz.

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Typically, Tough Customer’s material is composed of pieces whose exhilarating improvisations are in no way stifled by the tricksy time signatures laid down by their themes. Nabatov, whether hammering out dazzling runs or leavening the mix with contemplative lyricism, shines both as composer and leader of a superbly sympathetic rhythm section, and his album is arguably the most exciting jazz piano-trio recording since Yosuke Yamashita’s Kurdish Dance. Chris Parker