Two Siberians: Out of Nowhere (2005)
One of the great wonders of modern music is how seemingly disparate genres be assimilated into and reflect each other, with the artist oftentimes unaware.
Out of Nowhere , the brisk and largely high-spirited album from from electric violinist Artyom Yakushenko and Yuri Matveyev, billed as Two Siberians, is a fusion record in the truestand bestsense. Both the opening "Radio Outpost" and a later track, "Vodka Diaries" (featuring guests Don Byron and Richard Bona), have traces of Jamaican dancehall in their rhythmic structures, in addition to bluegrass, bop, classical, and other elements.
"Vodka Diaries" pits the staccato lines of both leaders against Bona's more subtly creeping bass lines, with Byron jumping in late in the track with a typically idiosyncratic solo before all four race headlong to the finish. Bona's presence is more readily felt on the heady "Evidence of Things Not Seen," with vocals by Nina Hennessy.
Two Siberians benefit from the presence of another heavyweight in the form of Michael Brecker, who serves as executive producer and also contributes saxophone on two tracks (actually EWI on one), the lilting, gypsy-tinged "Indigo Breeze" and the most fully-realized song, "Allergic to Gravity." As Brecker takes off on his solo flight, bassist Matt Garrison and percussionist Mino Cielu zip right along with him.
Not that the two leads are by any means dormant or passive. Out of Nowhere is a passionate statement from both that speaks to both the isolating qualities of their home region and the yearnings for communion that insularity inspires.
Track Listing: 1. Outpost Radio; 2. Allergic to Gravity; 3. Cagey Bee; 4. Come With Me Anyway; 5. Natasha Havana; 6. Amoroso; 7. New Russian; 8. Lake Baikal; 9. On the Tundra; 10. Vodka Diaries; 11. And then...Nika; 12. Indigo Breeze; 13. Out of Nowhere; 14. Evidence of things Not Seen; 15. Searching for Power
Personnel: Yuri Matveyev: electric violin; Artyom Yakushenko: electric guitar; George Whitty: synth and drum programming; Minu Cielo: percussion; Richard Bona: bass (tracks 6, 10,11,13,14), percussion (track 15); Matt Garrison: bass (2,7); Don Byron: clarinet (10,11); Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone and EWI (2, 12).