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Yuriy Galkin: ...For Its Beauty Alone

Mark Corroto By

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There has to be a term for recordings you listen to for the sidemen, but repeat for its leader. Let's call it 'bait and swing.' A perfect example is ...For Its Beauty Alone by Yuriy Galkin. The bassist's second release pares down the nonet heard on Nine Of A Kind (F-IRE, 2012) to just four. But this quartet is quite special, with saxophonist David Binney, pianist Matt Mitchell, and drummer Rudy Royston. If assembling this all-star cast says anything, it is that Galkin's sidemen hold a high opinion of his compositions and performance.

Opening with the brief "Exposition En Niveaux De Gris," we hear Mitchell solo, casting a sober and reflective mood to the music Galkin has penned. "Revival" follows with bass forward, balanced by Royston's drumming and Binney and Mitchell navigating the ticklish melody. Galkin loves to juxtapose moods with shifting meter, all to serve his vision of ugly beauty. ...For Its Beauty Alone, although made up of individual tracks, flows as one complete recording. The contrasts he sets side-by-side often in the same composition are buoyant and affirmative. The ambitious "Further Eruptions" mixes complex math equations with soulful duos between Galkin and Royston before setting Binney free to fly. The saxophonist displays his razor-sharp snap here and on "Cradle Song." Elsewhere, the quartet unwraps a modern-music-meets-jazz soundscape where Mitchell untethers his electronics on "Camera Obscura," mixing it with his piano. The sci-fi eeriness is part of the continual unwrapping this recording follows. Favorite tracks are the swirling "Shifting Sands Part I" which spins like Bernard Herrmann's soundtrack for the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo and the title track, which is delivered with a short poem and reprised briefly to end the album. Galkin has an ability to write haunting melodies which his quartet executes with aplomb.

Track Listing: 1. Exposition en niveaux de gris 1:49 2. Revival 6:29 3. Shifting Sands - Part I 3:58 4. Equilibrium 1:02 5. Further Eruptions 8:23 6. …For Its Beauty Alone 4:10 7. Shifting Sands - Part II 2:09 8. Camera Obscura 8:21 9. Rise And Fall… And Rise Again 0:40 10. Cradle Song 7:11 11. Frame Of Reference 4:45 12. ...For Its Beauty Alone (Reprise) 2:23

Personnel: Yuriy Galkin: acoustic and electric bass, spoken word; David Binney: alto saxophone; Matt Mitchell: piano, Prophet 6; Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: ...For Its Beauty Alone | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced

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