When one listens to the powerful guitar playing of Roman Miroschnichenko, it is easy to be reminded of Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin during his Mahavishnu days, but it soon becomes apparent that Miroschnichenko has his own sound within fusion, setting the standard for XXI century fusion guitar.
Born in the Ukraine, Roman Miroschnichenko (the son of a saxophonist) began playing guitar when he was 14. While he started out exploring blues and rock, he was regularly exposed to jazz which he found challenged him more.
The Sixth Sense has Miroschnichenko and his regular trio with electric bassist Oleg Kanakov and drummer Val Chernook are joined by special guests along the way which give the project variety. The guitarist performs eight of his originals plus Henrik Andersen’s “Moon Over Tanjore” and Daniel Figueiredo’s “Planar.”
The opener, “Flying Dragon,” has bassist Bunny Brunel joining Miroschnichenko for a high-powered and assertive theme that inspires the guitarist to play with a great deal of intensity. “Night In June” with percussionist Gumbi Ortiz also starts on an intense level but uses space that allows Miroschnichenko to draw out the melody as the performance builds and builds. “Isoboogie,” with guitarist Jennifer Batten added to the group, has a particularly catchy groove that is both memorable and fiery. “The Sixth Sense (which includes drummer Luis Alicea, percussionist Paul Wertico, and some background singing from Matt Laurent) is a relatively melodic piece that cools things down a little.
It acts as a prelude to one of the album’s highpoints, “Bodhran’s Magic.” The interplay between Miroschnichenko and violinist Charlie Bisharat is quite colorful and the violinist takes an outstanding solo. In contrast, “Planar,” which includes pianist Rannieri Oliveira and the St. Petersburg Studio Orchestra, is a pretty ballad given a concise treatment. “Moon Over Tanjore” with guitarist Henrik Andersen and bassist Dominique Di Piazza has rapid lines played impeccably by the two guitarists who consistently challenge each other while displaying distinctive styles. “Olé” finds guest keyboardist Gary Husband adding jazz flavor to a piece that features a strong melody and Spanish rhythms. “Ocean” with Frank Colon and Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, is quite explosive yet melodic while “Breathe Groove” concludes the memorable set with a calm and peaceful theme.
The Sixth Sense is an impressive effort that can either be an introduction to the talents of Roman Miroschnichenko for some listeners, or be a prized acquisition for the guitarist’s many fans.
/ Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian /