Oct 29, 2020
Those following the music of trumpeter Michael Sarian over the past few years will have a pleasant surprise when they listen to New Aurora. Known for his septet Michael Sarian & The Chabones and big band The Big Chabones, the latest release from the New York based musician finds him fronting a four piece acoustic group, and playing flugelhorn in a manner that recalls ECM legends Kenny Wheeler, Enrico Rava, and Tomasz Stańko.
Born in Toronto, Canada, and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina from the age of one, Sarian brings all of his musical influences into play on New Aurora, including his Armenia heritage. Michael arranged two pieces by Komitas, the celebrated Armenian monk, composer, musicologist, and founder of the Armenian national school of music (who last year celebrated his 150th birthday) for the record. He speaks eloquently in our conversation about the joys of the simple melodies and changing rhythms inherent in Armenian music.
The pared down band is made up of Sarian on trumpet and flugelhorn, Santiago Leibson on piano, and Dayeon Seok on drums. Bass is split between Marty Kenney and Matt Pavolka.
Musical selections from New Aurora include his compositions "Mountains" and "The Morning After," as well as a duet with Leibson on Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now."