Tigran Hamasyan, again

We used to see Tigran Hamasyan at the Foundry pretty regularly, he spent a lot of time at that upright piano. The kid is vastly talented, a virtuosic improviser, an explosion of rapid fire creative energy and new ideas. Kevin Kanner or Zach Harmon usually drummed and the music was endlessly intense…exquisitely beautiful passages then chunks of Monk then stretches of pure bop then Armenian melodic progressions and then a reductionist rhythmic pounding that only a genius can get away with. Owner Eric Greenspan lays out no rules for the cats here and the crowd is not quite jazz enough to demand conformity, so he just went a little nuts sometimes. And while we saw Tigran in a more sophisticated and more structured guise elsewhere, and were blown away every time, his performances at the Foundry were a special kind of madness. Doubtless he’s matured a bit, and certainly been schooled even more than he was, as he’s been studying and playing in the meantime in NYC and all over Europe. After this his next local gig is January at the Broad Stage playing his brilliant new Fable album for a big room full of jazz critics and rich people (you might start looking for tickets now). That’ll be a real concert, a solo recital in fact, with a captive audience hanging onto every exquisite note. The Foundry booking is just a no cover bar gig, with that hoary old piano just a step or two from your bar stool. Our kind of scene. We love jazz in bars.

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