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...

248

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

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Related Articles

Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019
Read Music! Music! Music! Album Reviews
Music! Music! Music!
By Doug Collette
May 20, 2019
Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019