Today In Jazz

Happy Birthday Simon Nabatov!

January 11

Pianist Simon Nabatov turns 55 today, and if you haven’t heard him yet, you’re missing a great experience.
Hear him for yourself, as he plays Herbie Nichols’ Spinning Song, with echoes of Prokofiev:

And here is a video portrait of this jazz master:

We have edited this bio from his website:
His musical education began at the age of 3, his father, himself a musician, being the first teacher. The Central School of Music and Moscow Conservatory were the next steps. After the whole family emigrated and settled in New York in 1979, Nabatov continued his studies at the Juilliard School Of Music. By that time his interest and involvement in jazz and improvised music grew strong enough to make them his main activity.
Since then he performed and recorded with many fine musicians such as Paul Motian,Tony Scott, Sonny Fortune, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Skidmore, Herb Robertson, Louis Sclavis, Charles McPhearson, Billy Hart, David Murray, Paul Horn, Adam Nussbaum, Jay Clayton, Ron McClure, Mark Feldman, Drew Gress, Phil Minton, Michael Moore, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg and many others. His own projects and activities include solo recitals, trio with the bassist Mark Helias and the drummer Tom Rainey, quartet “Nature Morte” with the British vocalist Phil Minton, multi reed-player Frank Gratkowski and trombonist Nils Wogram, quintet including his trio plus the violinist Mark Feldman and the trumpet player Herb Robertson.
Nabatov performed and recorded numerous pieces of chamber music, some of them written specially for him: “Piano Concerto “Baba” by the American pianist/composer Kenny Werner, “Sonata for violin and piano” by the Irish bassist/composer Ronan Guilfoyle,”Trumpet Sonata”, “Cello Sonata”, “Trio for flute,cello and piano” by the Swiss reed-player/composer Daniel Schnyder. He also performed and recorded some of the more known “crossover” works, such as “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin (NDR Symphony Orchestra Hannover,1998) or “Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra” by Rolf Liebermann (NDR Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, Hamburg,1996).
Nabatov was among the winners of the 3rd “International Great Jazz Pianist Competition” in Jacksonville, USA (2nd prize) in 1985 and of the “Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition” in Paris, France (3rd prize) in 1989. In 1987 he was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He has also made numerous radio productions for most major European broadcasting companies: WDR, NDR, HR, BR, SFR, Radio France, Radio Zürich, Radio Ireland etc.
A more recent and by far the largest radio production project (co – sponsored by WDR and Bayer AG) saw him write and record over 6 hours of music for solo piano, duo (with the American reed player Michael Moore), his trio, the quartet “Nature Morte” and the quintet.
Since 1989 he resides predominantly in Cologne, Germany, but keeps an apartment and a part of his heart in New York.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIMON NABATOV!