Desert Island Jazz
Amina Figarova (2002)

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Amina Figarova is without doubt one of the most productive jazz composers and talented jazz piano players from Europe. Now living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Amina started playing piano and composing at a very early age. She studied as a classical concert pianist at the Baku Conservatory, jazz performance at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Amina Figarova performs with her own group at many jazz festivals and jazz clubs around the world, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Capetown International Jazzfestival, Salvador Bahia Jazz Festival, Brasil, JakArt Festival, Indonesia, Yoshi´s in Oakland, CA, Blue Note jazz club New York, and has given concerts in Israel, Europe, United Arabs Emirates, Mexico, USA, Azerbaijan, and many others.

Recorded her first CD "Attraction" in 1994, a start of a wonderful career as pianist and composer, a CD with all compositions and arrangements of Amina, almost all the music on her CDs are composed by herself. In 1998 she was invited to study at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado. A summer camp for the most talented young musicians. That same year she released her second album "Another Me", a mix of funk, fusion and R&B, influenced by jazz, reggae and latin music, again with all original compositions. In March 2000 she was invited as artist in residence for the Dmitri Matheny Home Season in the San Fransisco Bay Area. That is how the Amina Figarova International Band got started, now released two live recorded CDs. Also the colobaration with Kim Prevost and Bill Solley from New Orleans resulted in the recording "On Canal Street". Amina is touring and performing often with Denise Jannah. Amina performed with the American All Stars Band with James Moody, Nathan Davis, Claudio Roditi, Larry Corryell, and Wynard Harper.

"Come escape with me" (Munich Records, MRCD 465) showcases Amina's exceptional compositional and arranging skills. Her music (all of the CD's 12 tunes are written by her) is tasteful and refined, showcasing her talents as well as those of her band - a three-piece horn section and one amazing flute player. This new release is the most logic follow up of her septet CD releases "Firewind" and "Night Train", celebrating the fifth anniversary of her septet. At the moment Amina tours with two different groups. Her septet features other wonderful musicians from The Netherlands and Belgium, and her Amina Figarova International Quintet. "Come escape with me" is recorded in the Netherlands with Marcel Reijs on trumpet, Kurt van Herck on tenor sax, Tom Beek on alto sax, Wiro Mahieu on bass, Chris Strik on drums and Amina's husband Bart Platteau on a whole scala of flutes. The music on this Munich Records CD is a great example of Amina´s musical and compositional talents. She takes you to unknown areas to let you taste a different atmosphere, always with her own style and magical swing.

Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Miles Davis with Gil Evans Porgy and Bess I Loves You, Porgy (Columbia)
# 2 Sergei Rachmaninoff Artur Rubinstein Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (RCA)
# 3 Bill Evans and Toots Thielmans Affinity Days of Wine and Roses (Warner Bros)
# 4 Dmitri Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues, Vladimir Ashkenazy Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, No. 4, Op. 87 (Decca)
# 5 Herbie Hancock New Standard You've Got It Bad, Girl (Verve)
# 6 Dave Valentin Light Struck (LP) Chris Cross (GRP)
# 7 Dmitry Matheny Penumbra: The Moon Sessions Menumbra (Monarch)
# 8 Amina Figarova Night Train Open to the World (Munich Records BV)
         
Book Mikhail I. Lermontov, "Major Poetical Works"
         
Luxury Item A cell' 'phone, "so that I can call my family".
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Claude Debussy New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein La Mer (Sony)
Alt 2 W.A. Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vladimir Horowitz N/A (Deutsche Grammophon)
Alt 3 Quincy Jones Q's Jook Joint N/A (Qwest)
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