Pity any young trumpeter having to play in the shadows of Wynton, Miles and Louis. All the innovation’s been done, all the peaks have already been reached. Still, there’s always room for good music. Alex Sipiagin’s second recording, “Steppin’ Zone,” may not propel him up there with the masters, but it will find him on many a CD player again and again.
Sipiagin trained as a classical trumpeter in the Russian conservatory and symphony orchestra system but, after winning an international jazz competition, he relocated to the United States. There he joined the Mingus Big Band and then slipped in with the post-Marsalis generation of young jazz lions. These players look to the past for inspiration, mining the late ’50s and ’60s hard-bop sound for overlooked nuggets and forgotten pathways. They are definitely traditionalist, but very, very good at it.
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