Simon Nabatov Quartet feat. Ralph Alessi
Ralph Alessi  trumpet | Sebastian Gille  saxophones | Simon Nabatov  piano | David Helm  bass | Leif Berger  drums


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Love is precious, blind, many-splendoured, and, like a wild rose, beautiful and barbed.

On his latest long-player, Lovely Music, Russian-American pianist Simon Nabatov revisits old acquaintances, scouring his back catalogue for captivating case studies of l’amour, seeking in passages of poetry and prose, tales anecdotal and personal, the inspiration for his audacious mood music suffused with sentiments suggesting affection, tenderness, adoration, and even obsession.

Revisiting past liaisons for their lyrical core, chaperoned by his freshly-formed Cologne contingent featuring Sebastian Gille (saxophones), David Helm (bass) and Leif Berger (drums), plus special guest Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Nabatov shuns the hollow mawkishness of the Hallmark carnivals, eschewing saccharine and schmaltz for post-bop workouts and abstruse chamber pieces appropriately fecund with fervour, revelation and bite. And yet, for all its edge, Lovely Music might also be Nabatov’s most overtly melodic offering yet.

Whether riding the tempestuous rollercoaster of romance on the skittering ‘Amour Fou’, free-floating a wistful love-at-first-sight meditation inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s allegorical masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, or rousing a frolicsome vamp throughout ‘Koscha’s Delight’, a tune dedicated to Nabatov’s pet cat, this full-hearted quintet manifest the complexity of emotions associated with Turgenev’s disease which knows no law. A landmark recording, and a love compendium quite unlike any other.

All music by Simon Nabatov (GEMA)

Recorded September 9th, 2021 at LOFT Cologne, Germany | Recorded, mixed and mastered by Christian Heck
Produced by Simon Nabatov | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

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