Opus 5 - "The Mingus Alumni"

One of the most formidable groups to emerge in modern Jazz scene in New York, OPUS 5 features the trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Donald Edwards.

All of them leaders in their own right, balance composition and improvisation in their two albums at Criss Cross, "Introducing Opus 5" (2011) and "PentaSonic" (2012).

All elements of Opus 5 played at different times in the Mingus Big Band, and in addition also participated in each other's albums, in various configurations over the years.

Sipiagin and Kozlov knew each other as teenagers, at the Gnessn Conservatory in Moscow. They went together to the United States in 1991, a journey of six months devoted to know the New York clubs.

Sipiagin, who has recorded 12 albums as a leader, joined the Mingus Big Band in 1995, and has stayed until today in this Grammy Winner line up. Since 1999, has played in several Dave Holland formations, who he considers a significant influence on his own composing style.

Blake, winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2002 at the saxophone category, recorded 13 albums as a leader. Born in England in 1970, grew up in Canada and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Established in New York, he worked with drummer Victor Lewis and John Scofield. He joined Mingus Big Band in 1995, with who he recorded six albums.

Kikoski, who has 12 albums as a leader and over a hundred CDs as a sideman, joined the band of Roy Haynes for 15 years. He is a member of the Mingus Big Band since 1997, appearing in four albums with the group.

Kozlov has been the backbone of the Mingus Big Band since 1999, appearing in five albums. It has two recordings as leader.

Edwards joined the Mingus Big Band in 2003, and has two albums as leader.

The idea of joining came up about two years ago.