Tigran HamasyanView in iTunes
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Although first moved as a child by the rock sounds of the giants -- Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles -- Tigran Hamasyan would focus his sights musically on jazz, becoming an adept (child prodigy, if you will) piano player in the style. Born in 1987 in Gyumri, Hamasyan was Armenian by descent, but had jazz in his soul. Moved by the sounds of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, and Miles Davis, Hamasyan found himself part of the festivities at the 2nd Yerevan Jazz Festival in 2000. He would go on just a few years later to win a number of contests, one of which was at the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival. With his band Aratta Rebirth he issued Red Hail, 2009. Two years later, he issued A Fable (using only his first name), his debut solo date for Verve -- featuring the artist on piano and vocals, and followed it with 2013's acclaimed Shadow Theater, which featured a band, strings, voices, and electronics by Jan Bang. That year he won the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Contemporary Music. Hamasyan issued Mockroot for Nonesuch in 2015, an eclectic set that offered original electro-acoustic compositions and a traditional song. That same year, his ECM debut Luys i Luso, comprised of Armenian sacred music from the 5th to the 20th centuries arranged for piano and voices, was issued. It was recorded a year earlier in the company of the Yerevan State Chamber Choir conducted by Harutyun Topikyan. He returned to electro-acoustic jazz with 2016's double-length Atmospheres on ECM, in a collaborative date with Arve Henriksen, Bang, and Eivind Aarset. ~ Chris True