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September Suite by Amina Figarova

Four years on, we are just now beginning to see some artistic responses to the events of 9/11. One recent effort in this direction is September Suite, a meditation on the day and its aftershocks by Amina Figarova, a Dutch pianist who was in Brooklyn when the attacks on the World Trade Center took place. Figarova makes a admirable attempt at expressing the emotions unleashed by the attacks. September Suite is a good and meaningful jazz album.

The programmatic aspect of this collection is impressive and cleverly executed. The multi-part piece begins and ends with the suitably elegiac "Numb." Figarova plays a simple and somber motif alone on the piano to start the piece, and appropriately subdued horns come in after that. "Emptyness" follows a similarly mournful template, enlightened by a bittersweet flugelhorn solo from Nico Schepers. "Denial" swaggers unsteadily just as the name suggests it should, while "Rage" is full of angry saxophones and warring drums.

Ms. Figarova impresses as both a composer and an instrumentalist. She receives ample and sympathetic support from a band that includes Schepers on trumpet and flugelhorn, Bart Platteau on a variety of flutes, Kurt van Herck on tenor saxophone, Wiru Mathieu on bass and drummer Chris Stirk. The things that happened on September 11, 2001 will probably never make sense, but September Suite does manage to express musically a sense of that experience and is a welcome contribution.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Amina Figarova
  • CD Title: September Suite
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Munich Records
  • Tracks: Numb; Emptyness; Denial; Phot Album; Rage; Trying to Focus; When the Lights Go Down; Dawn; For Laura; Numb (bonus track)
  • Musicians: Amina Figarova (piano); Bart Platteau (flute); Nico Schepers (trumpet); Kurt Van Herck (tenor saxophone); Wiro Mahieu (bass); Chris Strik (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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