Her First Dance
ECM Records CD 1995 (www.ecmrecords.com)
On pianist Misha Alperin’s latest ECM recording, he’s selected two most sympathetic collaborators: cellist Anja Lechner and French horn player Arkady Skilkloper. The sumptuous sounds each elicits from their respective instruments create an aural feast in the alto and tenor registers, furnishing Alperin’s compositions with warmly autumnal atmospheres.
The pianist mixes jazz balladry, Eastern European folk inflections, and a sophisticated harmonic palette evocative of Bartók (“Lonely in White,” “Her First Dance”), Debussy (“Jump”), and Shostakovich (“Via Dolorosa”). Standouts include his interplay with Lechner on “Frozen Tears” and Skilkloper’s resonantly played and beautifully homespun “The Russian Song.”