The Ganelin Trioprobably the most recognized group of the Russian jazz scene during the last decade of the USSRwas officially disbanded at the end of the '80s. Both saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin and percussionist Vladimir Tarasov remained in now-independent Lithuania, keeping themselves busy in different projects mostly in Europe, while pianist Vyacheslav (Slava) Ganelin moved to Israel, where he works as a composer, often doing solo concerts and occasionally performing and recording in and out of the country with his old trio as well as with other musicians. Three of his recent records were released by the young, Tel-Aviv based Auris Media label. Falling into Place was recorded live in Jaffa with clarinetist and saxophonist Ned Rothenberg.
Technically speaking, this album is not a duo record. The concert featured two solo sets each by Ganelin and Rothenberg, with only twenty minutes at the very end when both musicians shared the stage. To balance the sound of the recording, the opening song from Rothenberg's set was moved in front of Ganelin's extensive 35-minute-long piece.
On his three solo pieces Rothenberg plays three different instruments: bass clarinet, clarinet and alto saxophone. All tunes share a full, deep, rich sound with slow changes and plenty of circular breathing, beautifully captured by the recording engineer. In contrast, Ganelin uses his entire arsenal, including piano, synthesizer and percussion, and he ranges from the slow and somewhat unnatural sounds of a fake synthesized orchestra to furiously fast, virtuosic piano passages with a strong, well-articulated attack. In the end, the disparity in sound and musical approaches is eliminated by five short duo improvisations.
Falling into Place might not be the best introduction to either musician, but listeners who are familiar with these players will enjoy the recording.
Track Listing: The Foot In It; The Place With The Space; A Blue Dance; Wood In The Metal; First Conversation; Slaps In Time; Luminous Staircase; Grassland; Encore.
Personnel: Slava Ganelin: grand piano, synthesizer, percussion;
Ned Rothenberg: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, shakuhachi.