2nd January 2015: Zhenya Strigalev is back with Smiling Organizm Vol 2: ‘Robin Goodie’ FEB 2 2015 ft. Ambrose Akinmusire, Taylor Eigsti, Tim Lefebvre, Larry Grenadier, Eric Harland + Euro Launch tour

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Happy new year everyone and a big thanks for your continued support. We have some great news to share with you as we start 2015.

Russian alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev returns with his acclaimed fusion-edged six-piece Smiling Organizm and their second album, Robin Goodie, his second release for Whirlwind Recordings. Following their much-praised debut – described as having “all the knife-edge momentum and skilled improvisatory abandon of its leader” by Jazzwise Magazine and “a real sense of a band in the making” by the Financial Times – Strigalev’s band includes Blue Note-signed trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, double bassist Larry Grenadier (known for his work with Brad Mehldau and Pat Metheny), electric bassist Tim Lefebvre (sideman to Wayne Krantz and Michael Wolleny), pianist Taylor Eigsti (whose many credits include Joshua Redman and Christian McBride) and high-profile drummer Eric Harland (whose recent work includes being a member of bassist Dave Holland’s band Prism, as well as work with Charles Lloyd and McCoy Tyner).

Smiling Organizm frequently subvert the standard sounds and roles of soloist and rhythm section, with Lefebvre’s subtle electronic effects and wiry guitar-like sounds layered between Grenadier’s emphatic swing, Eigsti’s lush yet angular harmonies and finely poised solos from Akinmusire and Strigalev. Harland meanwhile deftly maps out the rhythmic terrain, cleverly morphing simple grooves into multi-layered percussive landscapes. Robin Goodie was co-produced by Strigalev and Harland and is a powerful mix of the saxophonist’s many musical loves, the heart of which is high-octane, hard-swinging post bop. This is an ensemble work that showcases Strigalev’s razor-sharp instincts as composer and arranger, as well as the depth of his knowledge of a wide range of musical styles, from free improv to funky fusion, out-and-out swing and extended harmonically rich melodies.

St Petersburg-born Strigalev – who is known for his virtuosic alto sax work on both the London and New York jazz scenes – led the first US/European incarnation of the band on a sold-out tour across Europe, performing at prestigious venues such as Ronnie Scott’s in London; Bimhuis in Amsterdam; A-Trane in Berlin; Porgy & Bess in Vienna and the Sunset in Paris among many others. On these dates the band featured a revolving cast of world-class musicians such as pianist Liam Noble, bassists including ex-Miles Davis sideman Foley, Dany Noel, ex-Zawinul firebrand Linley Marthe, Michael Janisch and Matt Penman, leading drummers Jochen Rueckert and Gregory Hutchinson and trumpeter Alex Sipiagin.

If Smiling Organizm’s debut album introduced the world to Strigalev’s highly personal musical vision, then Robin Goodie finds the band stepping up a gear, increasingly comfortable as a unit, growing to become more than the sum of its considerably talented parts. Matching quirky humor with serious musical intent, delicate melodic hooks with heavyweight rhythmic muscle, this is a band and an album that leaves a vivid impression.

Here’s what Zhenya has to say about his new record:

“The album Robin Goodie is in some way dedicated to England and my time here. I haven’t read the adventures of Robin Hood, but I’ve seen the film! There’s a lot of nature (I love nature), humour, heroism, strong personalities, love, rebelliousness and of course some stupidity… “Robin Goodie” is a mixture of Robin Hood and Boogie Woogie. I thought of the name (which is also the name of one of the tunes). The name came up on its own when I finished composing the tune and wanted to call it something random. However not all of the names of my tunes are random. Many of them are chosen based on the combination of letters or words, their sound reflecting the feeling of the tune. Sometimes I arrive at the name of the tune, letter by letter, in the same I compose the tune, note by note…

The sketches/outlines of several tunes from this album were written while I was practicing in the abandoned house next to the river where I was camping with my father in Russia… Lots of forest, nature and no people. The picture on the album cover was taken there. This album is actually my first where double bass and bass guitar are playing together. The main idea behind that was to combine straight ahead jazz with groove/fusion beats. Take the best of both (for me) and put them together. Thanks to the amazing musicians who made it possible for me to do that.”

 

TOUR: Zhenya will also be touring across Europe, check dates below. Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

 

25/01/15ViennaElektro GönnerAT
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Mariahilferstrasse 101. Venue phone: +43 1 2086679.J3ZZRUB with Vladimir Kostadinovic and Stefan Pista Bartus

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11/02/15ValènciaJimmy GlassES
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Carrer de Baix 28. Venue phone: +34 656 89 01 43.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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12/02/15MadridBogui Jazz ClubES
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: c/Barguillo, 29. Venue phone: +34 915 21 15 68.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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13/02/15MunichUnterfahrtDE
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Einsteinstrasse 42.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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14/02/15ViennaPorgy & Bess Jazz & Music ClubAT
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Riemergasse 11. Venue phone: +43 1 503 70 09.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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15/02/15ReutlingenWorld of BassesDE
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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17/02/15BerlinA-Trane International Jazz ClubDE
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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18/02/15LondonRonnie ScottsUK
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT. Venue phone: 020 7439 0747.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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19/02/15LyonHot ClubFR
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: 26 Rue Lanterne. Venue phone: 04 78 39 54 74.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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20/02/15MaconLe CrescentFR
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: Place Saint Pierre. Venue phone: 03 85 39 08 45.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Tour with Alex Spiagin, Matt Penman, Linley Marthe, Liam Noble and Eric Harland.

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21/02/15RomeGregory’s Jazz ClubIT
Time: 8:00pm. Age restrictions: All Ages. Address: via Gregoriana 54/a. Venue phone: +39 06.6796386.Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’ Trio with Matt Penman and Eric Harland.

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