Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Tima Volozh: Jubilee

5

Tima Volozh: Jubilee

By

Sign in to view read count
Tima Volozh: Jubilee
Jubilee is the excellent debut release of Russian-born New York-based drummer Tima Volozh. The group was formed in March 2022, assembled for a benefit performance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The rhythm section features bassist Jerome Harris and guitarist Brad Shepik, both of whom are known for their work with drummer Paul Motian, among notable others. Volozh met them while researching Motian's music for his master's degree thesis at New York University. Canadian pianist and composer Noah Franche-Nolan and saxophonist Timo Vollbrecht complete the ensemble splendidly. In tribute to Motian, whose work has had a major influence on him, Volozh included Motian's "Mumbo Jumbo" in the program. The piece was first recorded on Motian's Garden of Eden (ECM, 2006), with Harris on electric bass.

The album's first cut, "Adoration of the Earth," is based on the opening bassoon solo from Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, a theme that other jazz composers and improvisers have borrowed. Volozh is in good company as he adds to the trove of tributes. Stravinsky's bassoon call appears in Hubert Laws' Rite of Spring album (CTI, 1971), and The Bad Plus' album of the same name (Sony Masterworks, 2014). Ornette Coleman alludes to it on "Sleep Talk" on Human Feeling (Antilles, 1979) via Bern Nix's guitar line. Charlie Parker and Paul Desmond both quoted it in improvisations, as have others. Volozh's setting of the Stravinsky excerpt is straightforward and evocative. Drums and saxophone introduce a rhythmically enlivened version of the passage, which is then repeated, underpinned by an Afro-Latin groove. The arrangement has an elegant two-part structure. The first part is a one-chord minor mode, the second is an original twelve-bar chord progression. Each section is open and extended for solos. The earth is an increasingly complicated subject, arousing complex emotions, and Vollbrecht's saxophone work here is genuinely expressive.

The quirky little rhythmic intro to "Star Eyes," a feature of Charlie Parker's 1951 date with Miles Davis, Walter Bishop, Jr., Teddy Kotick, and Max Roach (Verve), is responsible—at least in part—for propelling the tune into the common practice jazz repertoire. Volozh's arrangement of "Star Eyes" begins with the intro, then toys with it, messing with meter, stretching and contracting the melodic phrasing, adding counterpoint in the lower register. The fun increases as he goes on to base the entire song on (his version of) the intro feel, transforming and contemporizing it. From a historical perspective, it seems fitting for the Parker intro to have finally taken over the piece as it does here. The effect is thoroughly invigorating. (Check the YouTube video at the bottom of the page.)

Program highlights include an artful reconstruction of Thelonious Monk's "Evidence" and an arrangement of "Lá Lauê," a capoeira corrido. "Lá Lauê" opens with a faint echo of berimbau, the Angolan bow associated with capoeira music, filtered through Shepik's guitar. Inclusion of the piece points to Volozh's experiences as a student of the Brazilian martial art form. Volozh's arrangements on Jubilee are well-crafted and the ensemble's performances are strong throughout.

Track Listing

Adoration of the Earth; Vortex; Lá Lauê; Star Eyes; Aisha; Mumbo Jumbo; Evidence.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Jerome Harris: electric bass.

Album information

Title: Jubilee | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Shifting Paradigm Records


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

DDG19 Big Band
Dani Gurgel
Legacy
Nick Finzer
Speak Moment
Dave Harrington - Max Jaffe - Patrick Shiroishi
Moab
Garza / Fawcett / Wojtowicz

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.