CD review

Azat Bayazitov – “The Doors Are Open”

Azat Bayazitov – The Doors Are Open
(Rainy Days Records. RAINY008CD. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)

Maybe one shouldn’t judge a CD by its cover… But Russian-born saxophonist Azat Bayazitov‘s new CD could be mistaken for a classic-period Blue Note release, and it pretty much delivers on that promise. Recorded in New York with a band comprising of American and Russian musicians resident in New York, The Doors Are Open provides a welcome dose of post-bop.

This is saxophonist Bayazitov’s second album. The band brings his compositions to life. Bayazitov’s tenor playing has a fluid nature. On the title track, his solo flows as if in a gentle stream, its direction picked up by Adam Roger‘s guitar. David Kikoski on piano and Samuel Sarkisyan on drums are particularly fine on Magnet, the opening track.

Bayazitov’s titles are descriptive, suggesting a narrative: they could be sections of a film. The Huge Sky of Kazan, a province on the Volga, is a slow, bluesy number in which bassist Boris Kozlov builds a compelling grove with his solo. Midwest Steam Locomotive has much more subtlety than its name might suggest, though it does build up momentum.

The Doors Are Open is full of lively music, inviting the listener in.

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