Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

231

Vladimir Rezitsky/Jazz Group Arkhangelsk - Orkestrion - Mikhail Chekalin - Petras Vysniauskas - Ganelin/Vysniauskas/Talas: Golden Years of the Soviet New Jazz - Volume II

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This nicely structured collection represents the second of two recently issued 4-CD sets of what has been coined: “Soviet New Jazz.” And while some folks might assume that these are strictly novelty items, that notion does not apply here. Deeply entrenched in classical music, many Russians have exhibited a keen interest in jazz and pop throughout the years, despite the repressive nature of the former Soviet Union. Naturally, many of the classically trained musicians did not enjoy full access to vast catalogues of LPs, sheet music, CDs, books and so on. But in some instances, these scenarios, can work unusually well. Where artists assimilate what they know into personalized interpretations or more importantly, reinventions of standard conventions. Culled from various sources, the material on these four CDs were recorded between 1984 and 1994

Subsequent to listening to these discs, it became apparent that the musicians frequently embedded theatrics into their respective repertoires. Therefore, a sense of autonomy prevails throughout these predominately audacious free-jazz, avant-garde, and sometimes farcical enactments. The multitasking aggregation known as “Jazz Group Arkhangelsk,” rekindles notions of the “Art Ensemble of Chicago,” as the instrumentalists’ flirt with world music, multiethnic slants, and free improv. This group’s conceptions make for a fantastic series of escapades, as the ensemble melds, renegade-like brass parts with African rhythmic endeavors. The larger aggregation, “Jazz Group Arkhangelsk and Friends,” pursues hallowed wordless vocal atmospherics, unbridled rhythmic flurries, and penetrating arrangements. While the sextet known as “Orkestrion,” pulls out all of the stops via live EFX, chamberesque interludes, bird sounds, bells, percussion and much more. “Orkestrion” is most effective at superseding any inklings of normalcy, as the band’s microtonal soundscapes and hazy dreamlike passages drum up visions of an outlandishly strange Amazonian ritual. The band also incorporates melodramatic episodes into a series of works that defy categorization yet seems so au natural. Perhaps the musicians are discombobulating the history of music while reassembling all of the parts into some sort of delusional framework. Conversely, keyboardist, Mikhail Chekalin, and his quartet propagate an air of mystery amid infusions of progressive rock and semi-classical movements. Essentially, the group’s overall sound could be analogous to - a symphony of abstractions.

Disc 4 features alto saxophonist, Petras Vysniauskas’ echo-laden creations, complete with Vyacheslav Ganelin’s (of Ganelin Trio notoriety) spacey synth-based effects in support of the leader’s plaintive cries. While listening to this set in particular, I could not help but envision some sort of offbeat, Cinéma Vérité type documentary. However, the musicians’ cathartic dogmas present us with something that rings of freedom, and hope. The listener might experience similar emotional responses or vibes throughout these extraordinary performances! Strongly recommended. (limited edition of 750 copies)

Leo Records


Track Listing: Twelve tracks in total on four CDs

Personnel: Disc 1: Vladimir Rezitsky & Jazz Group Arkhangelsk disc 2: Orkestrion disc 3: Mikhail Chekalin disc 4: Petras Vysniauskas & Ganelin/Vysniauskas/Talas

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Golden Years of New Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: 2002-03-01
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: 2002-03-01
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: 2002-03-01
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: 2002-03-01
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: 2002-03-01
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "The Scrambling Ex" CD/LP/Track Review The Scrambling Ex
by Dave Wayne
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "Blues and Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Ballads
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by Mark Corroto
Published: 2002-03-01
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: 2002-03-01

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!