The Armenian jazz virtuoso pianist, Tigran Hamasyan is a powerhouse musical force to be reckoned with. In 2017, the 31-year-old composer released probably his most accessible and gorgeous album to date, An Ancient Observer. Produced by Nate Wood (Kneebody), the album was mainly recorded at Studio de Meudon, in France. An Ancient Observer might easily be Tigran’s best album equally tied with his previous record Mockroot (2015). Fairly recently I got a chance to see Tigran play this album live in March of 2017. What makes his music and performances so special is his warm, intimate tone when he tickles the ivory keys. He manages to capitivate his listeners with his sheer raw talent and intricate melodies inspired by world-folk music and Eastern European traditional tunes. He also beatboxes and hums falsetto harmonies while shredding away on both a synthesizer and a grand piano.
Some jazz fans who appreciate the music of Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Chick Corea, George Duke, and Kamasi Washington will definitely fall in love Tigran Hamasyan’s music. Having already recorded 11 albums, Tigran has won the Montreaux Jazz Festival Piano Competition in 2003, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006, and won the Echo Jazz Award for International Piano Instrumentalist of the Year in 2015.
In his own words, Tigran explains this record in this way : “I gaze out of my window and see the biblical mountain Ararat with perpetual snow on its peak, to be able to observe the magnificence of this sleeping volcanic giant, which has existed for millions of years and was observed by the Ararat Valley Koura-Arax culture through to the present day citizens of the Armenian republic. I can see and observe the same birds, animals, rivers, and mountains that the craftsman of 4,000 years ago painted on a clay vessel.”
My favorite tracks on An Ancient Observer are “Fides Tua,” “The Cave Of Rebirth,” and “Nairian Odyssey.” These songs all reflect Tigran’s exceptional piano abilities and phenomenal songwriting mastery. If you are feeling adventurous and willing to get in a jazzy, exotic mood, then throw on some Tigran Hamasyan while you sit back and relax.
Once again, I appreciate all the new and returning readers of my blog!
You guys rule!