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Live Reviews

The Dmitri Kolesnik Trio at Cleopatra's Needle, NYC

By Published: November 3, 2008
As The Corners Five band (with Russian Alex Spiagin on trumpet and Gene Jackson on drums), the group also released the live album At The Hermitage Theatre (Jazz Alliance, 2007) last year, performing and recording the music in St Petersburg, Russia, where Kolesnik grew up. The theater for the taping was the famous Hermitage Museum.

It was finally time for the next set, which began with "The Lullaby Of The Leaves." There were interesting time changes by Kolesnik, then stacatto playing that became hard swing. Hart played loud bursts of chords, each one followed by a flow of notes. Kolesnik's bass soloed over soft guitar chords, then more guitar "bursts" ( good stuff).! An approving call of "Yeah!" came from the crowd. Hart, who had a box of effects and a tuning box at his feet, played straight during the performance. But he always has "digital-delay" which, he insists, is "my sound." His amp was an vintage Soundtone, an amplifier of choice for many jazz guitarists.

The guitarist played a Joe Pass-like intro to the Van Heusen standard "Darn That Dream," reminiscent of the famous Miles Davis arrangement Birth of The Cool (Columbia, 1950). Madison's gambit for gathering crowd support at the end of the song was to say: "We're a hard-working group of musicians playing in a time of no cover charges!"

The third tune of the set was Kolesnik's "Regrets." Dexterous finger-work from Hart presented a beginning reminiscent of Wes Montgomery's "Four On Six" (a jazz guitar classic from The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (Riverside, 1960)). Then followed more solo work by Kolesnik, his bass accompanied by vamped chords from the guitar, then a fast guitar solo and more "rat-a-tats" from the drums, and finally Madison's distinctive "K" cymbal sounding the tune's completion.

More attractive guitar followed on the next tune, Miles Davis' "Blue In Green," including an excellent break ending on the dominant chord. The final tune was bassist Oscar Pettiford's "Blues In The Closet," a fast number with block chords from Hart's guitar. Kolesnik slid down the bass notes into the solo by Madison, who brought those blues completely out of the closet with a drum solo in 6/8 time.

The blues disappeared in a blur of speed. Let's hope a label decides to distribute the trio's album equally as fast! In any event, for Dmitri Kolesnik there will be no stopping the Russian Caravan, his latest Meeting Point (formerly The Corners Five band) album, which will be out soon.

A Kolesnik Discography:

The Corners Five, Live At The Hermitage Theatre (Jazz Alliance, 2007)
The Corners Five, Five Corners (Challenge Records, 2007)
Dmitri Kolesnik, Blues For Dad ( Boheme Music, 2001)

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