Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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

Title: Golden Years of the Soviet New Jazz - Volume II | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Golden Years of New Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Cuando Sea Necesario Album Reviews
Cuando Sea Necesario
By Dan McClenaghan
March 22, 2019
Read West 60th Album Reviews
West 60th
By Peter Hoetjes
March 22, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Mark Corroto
March 22, 2019
Read Arirang Fantasy Album Reviews
Arirang Fantasy
By John Sharpe
March 22, 2019
Read The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul Album Reviews
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
By Mike Jurkovic
March 22, 2019
Read Octopus Album Reviews
Octopus
By Jack Bowers
March 21, 2019
Read Pinch Point Album Reviews
Pinch Point
By Mark Corroto
March 21, 2019