Katya Sourikova: Ivan's Dream (2011)

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Katya Sourikova: Ivan's Dream
The third release of Berlin-based pianist and composer Katya Sourikova looks and sounds like something fitting the ECM catalog—the beautiful cover, the pristine and rich sound of the recording, and, obviously, the genre-binding beautiful, lyrical and nuanced music that moves freely and organically along the spectrum of jazz, both American and European, as well as folk music and classical music, all without subscribing fully to any genre but embracing it all.

Sourikova has collected ten self-penned compositions, all written when she began to explore the harmonic and melodic possibilities of the new language of jazz, as well as its boundless energy, after finishing her classical music studies. All the compositions have been rearranged, but all still capture their innocent freshness, clarity and their warm, melodic, cinematic narratives.

The opening soft ballad, "In the Dark," references Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
and Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
's lyrical playing, but Sourikova enriches the simple, fluid structure by adding a Bach-ian counterpoint. "Off the Beam" features the sensitive interplay of the core quartet, with short, well-articulated solo parts by bassist Simon Nauer and tenor saxophonist Oliver Fox, all thoughtful and opinionated.

"Twilight," Sourikova's first jazz composition, sensually weave the modal innovations of Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
and Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
with an impressionist harmonic language, reminiscent of the works of French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Norwegian trumpeter Gunhild Seim
Gunhild Seim
Gunhild Seim

trumpet
contribute warm and soulful playing to this memorable composition. "Queen Maud Land," in its two parts, stresses the ECM aesthetic, with its cinematic, dreamy narrative of a distant, chilly journey.

The title piece is a successful exercise in integrating the improvised, energetic syncopated lines, influenced by such innovative saxophonist as Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
with the analytic exploration of folksy, pulsating rhythms by composer like Béla Bartók. Sourikova present her disdain with the politics of war on two compositions. The lyrical "Hagakure" draws its inspiration from the book The Way of the Samurai, and attempts to touch this sore issue from the perspective of the consternation of the women of the samurais preparing for another war. The more whimsical "Switchblade," originally titled "Puppet Tango," is Sourikova's sinister response to the futile war in Iraq. This impressive album is concluded with the optimistic, rhythmic "For Love Once More," another beautiful and arresting melody, that convinced Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
b.1963
trumpet
after hearing it, that he need to drink vodka.

Track Listing: In the Dark; Off the Beam; Twilight; Queen Maud Land I; Ivan's Dream; December Sky; Queen Maud Land II; Hagakure; Switchblade; For Love Once More.

Personnel: Katya Sourikova: piano; Oliver Fox: tenor sax; Simon Bauer: double bass; Brendan Dougherty: drums; Gunhild Seim: trumpet (3, 10), flugelhorn (7); Johannes Haage: guitar (6-8, 10).

Record Label: Weave Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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