Edition Records (2017)
by Jeff Becker
The son of the Italian classical conductor Claudio Abbado and Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova, it was only inevitable that bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado would follow in his parent’s passions. After graduating in music and composition from Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge he won a scholarship to study double bass at the Royal Academy of Music through its Masters jazz course tutored by virtuosos Jasper Høiby and Michael Janisch. Cross-Platform Interchange is the follow-up release to Mullov- Abbado’s 2015 debut album New Ansonia, also on Edition Records.
Mullov-Abbado’s opening torrent is “Shanti Bell,” a blues- infused double bass flavor backed by subtle and sensitive percussion. Followed by “No Strictly Dancing,” meekly resembling “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” its virility and development lend credence to a vociferous trumpet solo by James Davison. Traversing through the idyllic “Waves” one stops upon “Gromit’s Grand Outing.” A lilting fun tune that lift the spirit in a moment of respite. Contrastingly, “Still, Hidden Morning” is an flavorful acid jazz tune that embodies the groups memorizing qualities.
“Pure 100% Nunnery” gives a darker hue, delving into an amplified N’awlins style blues which gradually descends into chaotic disorder before resolving into the hook oriented vamp before the kitschy ending. The title track is filled with brass luxuries that resonate long beyond the tracks play. “Hair Of The Bop,” treats the listener to a Latin vibe, featuring Mullov-Abbado in an actionable bass solo and supervened by a notable ensemble melody.
Cross-Platform Interchange is unusually mature for sound a young player, yet it also is an accessible album, possessing both likeability and enough change up to keep it engaging. To follow in the footsteps of a parent, not to mention two such accomplished musicians bring forth a perceived pressure. Obviously, Mullov-Abbado already possesses his own unique style and command, with a unique vocabulary all his own.
Track Listing: Shanti Bell; No Strictly Dancing; Waves; Gromit’s Grand Outing; Still, Hidden Morning; Pure 100% Nunnery; Cross-Platform Interchange; Hair Of The Bop.
Personnel: Misha Mullov-Abbado: double bass; James Davison: trumpet; Matthew Herd: alto saxophone; Sam Rapley: tenor saxophone; Liam Dunachie: piano; Scott Chapman: drums; Elad Neeman: percussion. Plus: Nick Goodwin: acoustic guitar (2 and 8); Rob Luft: electric guitar (3,5 and 7); Matthew Barley: cello (3); Yusuf Narcin: bass trombone (7).