On The Flipside of Sound Valery Ponomarev Softcover; 316 pages ISBN: 1438970463 ArtistHouse 2010
Valery Ponomarev's autobiographical tome tells the fascinating tale of the life of a working jazz musician from a uniquely personal perspective. The Moscow-born trumpeter, who became the first native of his country to achieve jazz fame in the United States when he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, narrates his life story with wit and candor. Beginning with his early days growing up under the Soviet regime of which he speaks with frank disdain, the ...read more
Beyond The Obvious is ex-Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarev's seventh CD as a leader for Reservoir. His Means of Identification, recorded in 1985, was the label's debut release. Beyond The Obvious stands apart from the six prior (all quintet) sessions in terms of its instrumental format. It's out at a time when the Russian-born trumpeter is in the news for a troubling incident. In mid September, Ponomarev reportedly had his arm broken by Charles DeGaulle Airport security after refusing to relinquish his trumpet. He was asked to check his trumpet at the gate, despite the fact that it was already properly ...read more
Here's one of those rare cases where a title is relevant to the music. As an ex-member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Valery Ponomarev's name might lead many readers to believe he has his sights firmly set on some form of hard bop heaven. But that's not the case with this programme, which takes in compositions by both Billy Strayhorn and Ornette Coleman.
The absence of a piano gives the music a wide open feel, and both Ponomarev (trumpet) and Don Braden (tenor sax)--a man who seems capable of the extraordinary consistency that Hank Mobley once maintained on countless Blue ...read more
It’s been quite some time since Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev defected from his native land in order to play jazz in America. Landing a gig with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers almost immediately, Ponomarev has gone on to practice the jazz tradition while being documented on a distinguished series of dates for the Reservoir label. Clearly, the affection that Ponomarev has for Blakey is still palpable owing to the title of his latest endeavor. The Messenger is indeed hard bop in the grand style and yet that tart Russian tinge that distinguishes the trumpeter’s sound is ever present, giving ...read more
Valery Ponomarev’s latest release, The Messenger, reminds us that he still is a leading jazz trumpet player who has remained consistent through his years on the scene. His tone is still as bright as ever, and his licks are entirely appropriate for the solos he improvises, and his presence elevates the sidemen who work with him. Even though he doesn’t seem to call his group Universal Language any longer, Ponomarev’s style still is one that makes use of music as a wordless language that can reach the hearts of listeners and unify them in spirit. In that sense, Ponomarev, first ...read more
Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson with Valery Ponomarev – PANORAMA. Imaginary Records 010; Released 1998. The last two SS&F records were strictly trios; while the group enjoys exploring their dynamics, this time they wanted more. Jeff Siegel says “we also enjoy mixing it up with other players – particularly horn players”; Tim Ferguson wanted “a special person ... able to contribute to it without disrupting its delicate balance.” That person was one-time Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarev, who brought his talent and his three horns. The trio’s intimate interplay (they played togerther nine years) is there as always, but the new voice ...read more