All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Katya Sourikova: Ivan's Dream

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The third release of Berlin-based pianist and composer Katya Sourikova looks and sounds like something fitting the ECM catalog—the beautiful cover, the pristine and rich sound of the recording, and, obviously, the genre-binding beautiful, lyrical and nuanced music that moves freely and organically along the spectrum of jazz, both American and European, as well as folk music and classical music, all without subscribing fully to any genre but embracing it all.

Sourikova has collected ten self-penned compositions, all written when she began to explore the harmonic and melodic possibilities of the new language of jazz, as well as its boundless energy, after finishing her classical music studies. All the compositions have been rearranged, but all still capture their innocent freshness, clarity and their warm, melodic, cinematic narratives.

The opening soft ballad, "In the Dark," references Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett's lyrical playing, but Sourikova enriches the simple, fluid structure by adding a Bach-ian counterpoint. "Off the Beam" features the sensitive interplay of the core quartet, with short, well-articulated solo parts by bassist Simon Nauer and tenor saxophonist Oliver Fox, all thoughtful and opinionated.

"Twilight," Sourikova's first jazz composition, sensually weave the modal innovations of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock with an impressionist harmonic language, reminiscent of the works of French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Norwegian trumpeter Gunhild Seim contribute warm and soulful playing to this memorable composition. "Queen Maud Land," in its two parts, stresses the ECM aesthetic, with its cinematic, dreamy narrative of a distant, chilly journey.

The title piece is a successful exercise in integrating the improvised, energetic syncopated lines, influenced by such innovative saxophonist as Charlie Parker with the analytic exploration of folksy, pulsating rhythms by composer like Béla Bartók. Sourikova present her disdain with the politics of war on two compositions. The lyrical "Hagakure" draws its inspiration from the book The Way of the Samurai, and attempts to touch this sore issue from the perspective of the consternation of the women of the samurais preparing for another war. The more whimsical "Switchblade," originally titled "Puppet Tango," is Sourikova's sinister response to the futile war in Iraq. This impressive album is concluded with the optimistic, rhythmic "For Love Once More," another beautiful and arresting melody, that convinced Dave Douglas after hearing it, that he need to drink vodka.

Track Listing: In the Dark; Off the Beam; Twilight; Queen Maud Land I; Ivan's Dream; December Sky; Queen Maud Land II; Hagakure; Switchblade; For Love Once More.

Personnel: Katya Sourikova: piano; Oliver Fox: tenor sax; Simon Bauer: double bass; Brendan Dougherty: drums; Gunhild Seim: trumpet (3, 10), flugelhorn (7); Johannes Haage: guitar (6-8, 10).

Title: Ivan's Dream | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Weave Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Aleka" CD/LP/Track Review Aleka
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "The World Of Captain Beefheart" CD/LP/Track Review The World Of Captain Beefheart
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Invisible Threads" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Threads
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "El Bosque Brillante" CD/LP/Track Review El Bosque Brillante
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: October 7, 2017
Read "Flaneur" CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018