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I like to be free, but to use the right language” – Zhenya Strigalev – London 2012

Zhenya Strigalev, SMILING ORGANIZM

Zhenya Strigalev -][- SMILING ORGANIZMMp3– [Whirlwind Recordings, 2012] –

Possessing fire, grace and edgy attitude alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev is a young virtuoso forging an increasingly high profile international presence. Graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2007, Strigalev has cut a dynamic path between the London and New York jazz scenes working with some of today’s most forward thinking musicians. He’s performed at many of the world’s leading jazz festivals, playing concerts in Russia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, France and Britain. Now with four solo albums under his belt, Zhenya Strigalev is poised to reach a new level of artistic maturity on his superb latest solo album ‘Smiling Organizm’.

Born in St Petersburg Strigalev took up the saxophone as a teenager, at age 17 winning “The Best Saxophonist” award in a well known St. Petersburg jazz competition. Soon after he began performing at many leading European, Russian, and UK Festivals, as well as well as starting to tour internationally. Having completed his military service he was granted a full scholarship to attend London’s Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his outstanding musical talent. Once in London he also studied with such leading jazz musicians as Lee Konitz, Peter King, Bob Martin, Dave Holland, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Mark Turner, Jean Toussaint and Gerard Presencer. Having arrived in the city with practically no money and just his saxophone it’s testimony to Strigalev’s obvious talent, tenacious creativity and sheer hard work that he’s now regarded as one of the most exciting young musicians in London.

In late 2010 Zhenya decided to head to New York for an extended stay to immerse himself in the city’s buzzing jazz scene. Ensconced among some of the world’s finest jazz musicians he played, listened, watched and wrote music that reflects his own restlessly imaginative style. This came together as a new album project. Recorded in June 2011 and featuring an exceptional group of US, UK and Russian musicians that include bassist Larry Grenadier (Brad Mehldau, FLY), drummer Eric Harland (Charles Lloyd, Dave Holland’s Overtone Quartet, Joshua Redman) and electric bassist Tim Lefebvre (Rudder, Wayne Krantz), superb British pianist Liam Noble (Tom Rainey, Christine Tobin and Ingrid Laubrock) and Zhenya’s fellow New York-based countryman, trumpeter Vitaly Golovnyov. Set for release later in early 2012 on bassist/label boss Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings, Strigalev’s latest album ‘Smiling Organizm’ brings all his skills as composer, soloist and bandleader together in his most vibrant recording to date.

A melodically accessible album, the dynamic set is fuelled by the rock-edged attitude of NYC’s influential Downtown scene, but happily slips between swing, free improv, modal vamps and darting post-bop forays without ever losing its compositional focus. The perfect distillation of jazz forged at the cutting edge of the contemporary music scene, performed by some of its most imaginative and virtuosic musicians, the album emphatically marks Strigalev’s artistic coming of age and his arrival as a creative force in his own right. This is joyful music that’s brimming with life. -[Biography | Short Version]-

..:: SOURCE: zhenyastrigalev.com

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