Articles by Alex Martynov

Live Review

Undivided: Exploring Consciousness in Ukraine

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UndividedPhilarmony Concert HallLviv, UkraineOctober 1, 2009

It's been a long time since head-solo-head was the only possible structure for jazz improvisation. Jazz symphonies, jazz operas, unprepared hour-long improvisations, recorded as well as performed live, frequently depart from the conventional formulaic pattern. Another popular form is the suite. The history of the extended jazz suite goes back to Duke Ellington's annual Carnegie Hall concerts with the premiere of Black, Brown and Beige in ...

Live Review

Havard Wiik: Reinventing the Piano Jazz Trio in Ukraine

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Havard Wiik Trio Concert Hall of Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music Kyiv, Ukraine April 18, 2009

Havard Wiik, a pianist known for his own groups as well as for his work in Atomic, Free-Fall, and Motif, is the present and the future of the Norwegian jazz scene. A gifted player and composer, he has already recorded a piano solo album, highly-acclaimed duos with young talented saxophonist Hakon Kornstad, and two albums with his ...

Album Review

Five Spot: Poltva

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There is not a great number of releases from the Ukrainian free-jazz scene. Admittedly, this scene is not very crowded with performers; still, it has something worth documenting. One of the most interesting albums of 2008 is from the international quintet Five Spot and Poltva. The name of the album is symbolic: Poltva is the name of the river that flows beneath the surface of the city of Lviv, where the album was recorded a year before its release. And ...

Live Review

Coltrane Configurations: Funky Trane Is On The Road

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Coltrane Configurations DK Metallurgov Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine April 17, 2009

John Coltrane resides in the pantheon of most, if not all, jazz lovers. Both fans of post-bop harmonies and free-jazzers appreciate his contribution to music. Many of his compositions became standards that have been played again and again by his many admirers. But few would approach Coltrane's tunes in the funky manner of Jamaaladeen Tacuma, who confesses that his main influences were The Temptations ...


Klaus Kugel/Mark Tokar: Free Jazz, Ukraine Style

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Two days after their own concert at the biggest ten-day-long Ukrainian jazz festival, Jazz Bezz 2008, I had a chance to talk with Ukrainian bassist Mark Tokar and German drummer Klaus Kugel at an informal setting. Their group with Lithuanian saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas already has some history behind it but only recently was christened Buchkys (which means kiss in Lithuanian). Buchkys was about to perform as a quartet with Romanian pianist Mircea Tiberian but he was not able to due ...

Live Review

Sonore: Ukrainian Debut

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SonoreMaria Zankovetska Drama TheatreLviv, UkraineDecember 14, 2008This year Jazz Bez, one of the biggest jazz festivals in Ukraine, had a final episode that was a performance by one of the most radical jazz projects--Sonore: three saxophonists, each representing his own generation, his own country, his own musical ethos. The personnel? The oldest, without a question, living free-jazz legend--the jazz-berserk German Peter Brotzmann; alongside him, Chicagoan industrious saxophonist Ken Vandermark, who can easily earn ...

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