Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky / Andrei Kondakov / Vladimir Volkov: In Search Of A Standard (2009)
The cleverness of improvisation plays an integral part of this Russian trio's compositions that merely reference jazz standards. The artists reconfigure and loosely interpret while injecting their personal insights. The program consists of thoroughly imaginative compositional vehicles, equating to a rather novel and prismatic string of musical iterations, spanning a wide spectrum of aspects.
"Don't Take The "B" Train" is the trio's reference to Duke Ellington's "Take The "A" Train," and is a freewheeling jaunt, spiked with avant-garde sound-mechanisms and a polyrhythmic reverse engineering foray. Here, trumpeter Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky's singing lines hint at Ellington's primary melody, and abetted by pianist Andrei Kondakov's rollicking piano voicings amid a throng of curves and dips.
Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," is transgressed into the piece titled, "Unsophisticated Lady." In effect, the musicians remove the urbane element and cast a bluesy, laid-back vibe, complete with an emphatic rendering of the original tune's main theme. Then on "Standard," they completely redefine any notions of a jazz or pop standard via playful exchanges, false endings and staggered flows. Add some doses of humor with a horde of expand and contract maneuvers and you have a composition awash with free-form madness and transitory motifs. It's a rather ingenious affair, shaded with multi-genre components that project a thrilling and action-packed concept. The album breathes renewed life upon repeated listens and unequivocally serves as the antithesis to the tried and true.
Track Listing: Don't Take The "B" Train; Mile's Exercises; On The Other Side Of The Street; Wintertime; Caravansarai; Unsophisticated Lady; Standard; Someday.
Personnel: Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky: trumpet; Andrei Kondakov: piano, percussion; Vladimir Volkov: bass.