Vadim Bessarab Trio: Differences

Dan McClenaghan By

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Vadim Bessarab Trio: Differences
When the COVID-19 virus hit Ukraine in early 2020, the nascent Vadim Bessarab Trio was forced to abandon its concert plans. But the no-concerts mode gave the group the opportunity to engage in rehearsal with "double power and passion." This resulted in the trio's first recording, documented with the help of what Bessarab describes as an "aspiring recording and mixing engineer." That aspirer, Cyril Oleynikov, doesn't have his own studio, so he records on location. In this case the location was a tiny room in pianist Bessarab's apartment—the leader's small format grand piano crammed into a cubicle with Andrey Gonchorov's drums and Maksym Kondratiev's upright bass. The first song they recorded—in fifteen minutes—was "Reflection." The three musicians were so happy with the sound they decided, on the spot, to record a full album. Freshness and spontaneity reigned. It took them a couple of hours. "Reflection" is the disc's opener.

"Reflection" is a spacious, inward sound, tinted with, perhaps a touch of loneliness. The atmosphere of the music, here and throughout, fits into what could be considered the European piano trio approach, one of intimate and nuanced beauty— pastel paintings on a canvas of silence. "You Little Story" is lilting, pretty, with an underlying strength, and "Apprehension" sounds like a "wee hours of the morning" reverie initially. It builds a momentum that culminates in an orchestral wall of sound, a rich sustain that gives way to a series single note raindrops, in a segment featuring a delicacy of delivery, conviction of purpose and subtle trio interplay and articulation.

The sound, captured by Olenikov, and mastered by Toby Davis, is superb, clean and airy, capturing the essence and clarity of the trio's personality.

The set's title tune has a hopeful feeling, strong and serene at the same time. And "Follow Me," a bright and playful sound, serves as a spirit-lifter, while the buoyant and assured closer, "A Light Breeze Hits My Sails" wraps things up with a timeless, spiritual feeling, on this very promising debut.

Track Listing

Reflection; Your Little Story; Apprehension; Differences; Follow Me; A Light Breeze Hit My Sails;


Vadim Bessarab Trio: piano; Maksym Kondratiev: bass; Andrey Goncharov: drums; Cyril Oleynikov: recorder; Toby Davis: recorder.

Album information

Title: Differences | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

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