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Interviews

Yuri Goloubev: Of Chocolate Cake & Other Simple Metaphors

By Published: April 5, 2010

AAJ: Does Russian jazz have a recognizable sound?

YG: In Russia for jazz musicians jazz is mainly rhythm, and not only in Russia, and I think that's wrong. As we all know there are three components to music—melody, harmony and rhythm and when one of the components is missing it's like the chocolate cake is missing some chocolate, or it's only chocolate but there is no dough. Everyone is different, some hear jazz more rhythmically, some more harmonically and someone else more melodically. Someone would have all three components and somebody else only two. Thanks God we are all different

AAJ: What was your impression of the standard of jazz which you encountered in Italy?

YG: Obviously before I relocated I knew of people like Enrico Pieranunzi

Enrico Pieranunzi
Enrico Pieranunzi
b.1949
piano
Enrico Rava
Enrico Rava
Enrico Rava
b.1943
trumpet
and Paolo Fresu
Paolo Fresu
Paolo Fresu
b.1961
trumpet
. About year before I moved here I started checking out the local jazz scene because I wanted to work out if the whole thing would be doable or not and I was surprised to find many really good musicians; some of them are unknown, some little known and others well known but there are some incredibly good musicians.

However, my impression is that in Italy your career depends not so much on your quality but instead on fortune. Perhaps it's not only in Italy but here it's all closed circuits. I know some musicians who career-wise are doing great but who are not so valid musically and I know some extremely valid musicians who nobody knows about.

AAJ: You've mentioned some of the better known Italian musicians but who of the lesser know ones have most impressed you?

YG: That's not easy to answer, but one of the first musicians I got to know was the pianist Glauco Venier. He's an amazing musician, though he's not so well known inside Italy, and in fact most of his gigs are outside Italy. Now he's recorded for ECM with Norma Winstone

Norma Winstone
Norma Winstone
b.1941
vocalist
and Klaus Gesing, plus he's touring a lot and becoming more known.

There's another excellent pianist, Ramberto Ciammarughi, there's Stefano Battaglia

Stefano Battaglia
Stefano Battaglia
b.1965
piano
and a lot of really amazing guitarists. Another saxophonist I've recorded is Rosario Giuliani, though he's quite a big name. There are so many good musicians like Mauro Negri, Nico Gori and Stefano Cantini. There's a very interesting trumpet player who features on my album Metafore Semplice, Giovanni Falzone, and trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, who's known internationally. There's an amazing young pianist called Claudio Filippini, from Pescara though living in Rome; I hope to record with him one day. He's only twenty-seven but he's very impressive. Well, there's really a whole bunch of great musicians over here, naming them all is just impossible.

AAJ: You formed one-third of a trio along with Gwilym Simcock and Asaf Sirkis; how did that trio come about?

From left: Gwilym Simcock, Yuri Goloubev



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