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"Steady Now" Leo Records 2006


Jazz Review 2006

Nabatov's discography is becoming an embarrassment of riches. His seventh for Leo is his second duo set, with drummer Tom Rainey a wothy and full-on partner in the enterprise. All nine of the tracks offer some hair-raising twists and turns of both jazz procedure and musical imagination... They are masters of time, sound and space, and they're going to prove it!

Richard Cook

Jazzwise October 2006

...There's a real telephatic joy emanating from the musical unfoldings taking place on this collection of dense, quicksilver improvisations...Huge fun!

Daniel Spicer

signal to noise 2006

...This set of duets builds on their deep mutual understanding, the players rarely engaging in back-and-forth jousting but instead concentrating on repurposing familiar musical genres and devising new tunes on the fly...the album offers a fine blend of keyboard wizardry and neatly turned instant compositions.

Nate Dorward

CODA Magazine Issue 330

Reducing their 15-year association in larger groups to its essence, Russian-American pianist Simon Nabatov and American drummer Tom Rainey combine for this nine-track recital, which skirts keyboard glibness to exhilarate.

Prodigiously educated, Nabatov so dominates his instrument - which here is extended with preparations and primitive electronics - that it's often difficult for him to hold back. Considering he's held his own with heavy hitters like German trombonist Nils Wogram and Dutch drummer Han Bennink that's no surprise. Resonating note clusters, slinky vamps and contrapuntal passing chords ooze from his fingers along with key clipping, basso explorations plus struck and strummed internal string patterns...

Ken Waxman

All About Jazz

Free jazz is somewhat of a misnomer for Steady Now, the recent collaboration between pianist Simon Nabatov and drummer Tom Rainey. Perhaps it is due to each player's crisp attack, their clear musical intimacy (facilitated in this format) or the configurable nature of their tandem sounds. There is a tight structure at work here but these nine individual cuts do however develop against an open improvisatory landscape and there is plenty of freedom to satisfy the most musically anarchistic listener. Still, it is for the most part what this duo constructs as a unit that gives this date its urgency. Pieces tend to begin with a sonic groping that lead into allout bimodal assaults and then return to a more gentle exploration. Nabatov is acutely adept at mood-inducing chordal figures that, when played with these rhythmic diversities, can build from sparse to frenetic...



The team of pianist Simon Nabatov and drummer Tom Rainey engages in ferocious free-form interplay leavened by quieter if no less dissonant passages. Sometimes Nabatov's use of "small objects" and what is called a "cracklebox" has similarities to some of the more esoteric moments of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, while other pieces are mostly sound explorations. However, there are sections of the piano/drums duets that are more playful, most notably "Nao Olhe Para Tras," which sounds like a Cuban piano piece that is fighting a losing battle to hang on to tonality. The performances on this CD certainly keep one guessing and generally succeed at holding on to one's interest.

Scott Yanow


All About Jazz Italy

Dopo l’incisione di qualche anno fa con Han Bennink, Nabatov ritorna ad esplorare la formula del duo con pianoforte e batteria. Al suo fianco Tom Rainey, per suggerire un flusso sonoro libero ed aperto. Che si compone di piccole ma preziose scatole cinesi, pronte ad innervare con trovate estemporanee le nuove composizioni originali del pianista.
Nella cui cifra espressiva il jazz è ancora una volta una delle diverse, paritarie componenti ad incastro. Per formare un quadro molto vario, che attinge ad una poetica a più strati: l’impressionismo, l’espressionismo, la pulsazione jazzistica e la pratica contemporanea. È una musica sempre pronta a cambiare direzione, che oltre a tener deste le orecchie dell’ascoltatore, si rivolge ad un pubblico colto, aduso alle più disparate esperienze musicali del ‘900.
La sua è una cifra poliedrica, che riflette il sentire cosmopolita di artista ad “n dimensioni”: russo all’anagrafe, con passaporto statunitense ed attuale residenza in Germania. Un pianista completo, che sa giocare con mille sfumature musicali; e che spazia senza soluzione di continuità tra l’interpretazione neoclassica di intensa purezza ed il respiro nervoso, frastagliato della contemporaneità.

Maurizio Zerbo