Like all truly creative improvised music, Portland trumpeter Cyrus Nabipoor’s compositions concern themselves less with fitting into one jazz idiom or another and more with a pure, almost ecstatic sense of in-the-moment expression. Nabipoor’s upcoming debut full-length, “Live at the Marigny Opera House,” is shot through with adventurous spirit. Taking one left turn after another, it embraces mid-song tempo changes, impressively long, cadenza-like trumpet solos, polyrhythms and a striking variety of tones — both harmonically and, say, in the constantly shifting guitar tone of sideman George Wilde.
This record does more than collage Nabipoor’s existing roles — frontman of nu-jazz band NORUZ, featured instrumentalist for electronic beatsmiths Korgy & Bass and leader of his own straight-ahead jazz combos — but each is present here, and taken together, they add up to something totally unique to him. Take, for example, lead single “Huckleberry Madness." Reading at first as a down-home, trad-jazz frolick, it morphs halfway through into something much swampier, dissonant and grinding to its full bizarreness before looping back to its original theme with a nod that’s almost humorous. This is the thrill of listening to a song that plays by its own rules, functioning under its own logic, and an artist that does the same; “Live at the Marigny Opera House” is an exhilarating debut from an artist we can expect to keep pushing boundaries.
Stream “Huckleberry Madness” below.
“Live at the Marigny Opera House” is out everywhere Oct. 23. Featuring Cyrus Nabipoor (trumpet), Brad Walker (tenor saxophone), George Wilde (guitar), James Singleton (bass) and Brad Webb (drums).