New Ansonia is Misha Mullov-Abbado’s debut album: a window into his considerable musical potential.
‘Heal me on this cloudy day’ is a moving depiction of his late father’s funeral. ‘Ode to King Michael’ is a beautifully chaotic piece of writing and group improvisation — complete with horse sounds and loud speaker announcements. MMA’s own bass playing is impressively technical and lyrical throughout the record.
The composing is polished, if fairly conventional in a Kenny Garret sort of way, and sets up interesting soundscapes for improvisation. Take the title track, ‘New Ansonia’. After a foot-tapping opening (complete with tambourine and hand clapping), the group breaks into solos. At first MMA’s bass solo keeps you hooked in, with nice lyricism and space, combined with impressive chops and rhythmic energy. The prodigiously talented Jacob Collier then plays a lot of notes before Tom Green’s lyrical trombone improvising brings the group back together.
There’s much more to come from Mullov-Abado; his own composing and playing are highly impressive. As he also develops as a band leader he will produce records that you want to listen to again and again. New Ansonia is an intriguing step on this journey.