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Crisis or no crisis, the 2008-2009 jazz concert season in Russia was far from being eventless. New fruitful collaborations were unveiled, new record labels were launched, old festivals have convincingly confirmed that they were well alive and kicking, and many good Russian jazz albums have hit the stores. Those albums revealed a new trend, that of many exciting Russian-American joint ventures in jazz this year. Of those intercontinental collaborations, pianist Ivan Farmakovsky's debut as a leader, Next To The Shadow (Boheme Music, 2009), proved to be one of the most intriguing Russian jazz releases of the year.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.