Scroll back to 2014 and Bayati when pianist Shahin Novrasli, a complete unknown then, suddenly summoned up a sound that beyond say the concerts and albums of Aziza Mustafa Zadeh had not been heard really properly in the west for about 25 years. Bayati marked the return of the mugham sound, that folkloric slice of modal magic from Azerbaijan you’ll hear very occasionally, here completely absorbed to wring out the transcendalism to the nth degree within a modern mainstream jazz wrapping that somehow also incorporated the Romantic classical tradition. The Baku-born Shahin manages to harness a very supple fast improvising facility to a flexible classical technique and his poetic side encompasses not only any sufi vocalising he chooses to introduce but ripples of mindfulness radiating in ever increasing circles. Once championed enthusiastically by that knowledgeable jazz talent spotter, EST and Nils Petter Molvær manager, Burkhard Hopper, and now endorsed by the great Ahmad Jamal, the new album Emanation was recorded in Paris in April 2016, produced by Shahin himself and on which is joined by veteran Jamal bassist James Cammack and the distinguished French drummer André Ceccarelli, Georgian percussionist Irakli Koiava and the legendary Grappellian violinist Didier Lockwood.
Shahin Novrasli: Towards an infinitude