Tigran Hamasyan’s StandArt is his first album of American standards and includes songs from the 1920s through the 1950s, by Richard Rodgers, Charlie Parker, Jerome Kern, David Raksin, and others; it also includes a piece Hamasyan improvised with his bandmates – bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Justin Brown – and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, who is featured on two of the album’s tracks. Other special guests include saxophonist and label-mate Joshua Redman on Charlie Parker’s ‘Big Foot’, as well as saxophonist Mark Turner on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s ‘All the Things You Are’.
Produced by Hamasyan and recorded last spring in Los Angeles, StandArt is Hamasyan’s first release of American music, having previously only released original compositions and traditional Armenian music. “With this record, I really wanted to apply different techniques and ideas I’ve developed over the years to a repertoire that I finally had an opportunity to re-visit, and to send a message that I really appreciate this music and am thankful for it,” he says. “I love these compositions and melodies so much that, to me, it’s like Armenian folk music. As an immigrant – an Armenian-American – I relate to these composers and musicians from various backgrounds who have that kind of history, a dark history, but managed to succeed in an embodiment of freedom. In that way, I feel like I want to be part of this, to find something in the tradition of where I came from.”
1. De-Dah 2. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was 3. All the Things You Are (feat. Mark Turner) 4. Big Foot (feat. Joshua Redman) 5. When a Woman Loves a Man 6. Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise 7. I Should Care (feat. Ambrose Akinmusire) 8. Invasion During an Operetta (feat. Ambrose Akinmusire) 9. Laura