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...

16

Dine Doneff: Rousilvo

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
There is more to bassist and composer Dine Doneff's record Rousilvo than simply a blending of styles and genres and eras and approaches. Certainly among his many talents is his uncanny ability to blur the line between the avant-garde, free-improv, classical, world music and jazz. It's a maneuver he has perfected over the years as the leader of his adventurous projects or as a sideman musician in other bands. With this project, Doneff certainly expands on that aesthetic and dives deep into his past.

Rousilvo is the Slavic name of a village of Doneff's birth in today's Northern Greece that is now known as Xanthogeia. The village is abandoned now as are many villages that were once populated by Macedonians in this region also known as Aegean Macedonia. Even though Doneff has resided in Germany for the past several years, he is a descendant of the Macedonian community that has survived years of series of ethnic cleansings and forced Hellenic assimilation of the Slavic population in Greece. Not only were Slavic names to cities and people changed but the word Macedonia was forbidden for use. It's an ongoing clash and struggle that still has not been forgotten. Even today, on the eve of the historic agreement between Macedonia and Greece, the term Macedonia and its citizens still pose a problem which hopefully will resolve with this agreement.

Effectively depicting the struggles of the Macedonians during that era presents a challenge for anyone, but Doneff has been able to channel his emotions into his skills as a sensitive and free-thinking composer. And for this album, he dives deep into his past and emotions in order to come out with music that is emotional, spiritual and panoramic. Rousilvo is like a musical drama with several suites with spacious, clean, disciplined arrangements and long, reflective, graceful and mournful improvised melodic lines. In between the compositions, he inserts elderly women singing acapella songs and laments which adds weight to this music. These were recorded on locations scattered throughout Northern Greece. Much of what he reconstructs is a picture of people's lives from a bygone era or that were either killed during the Civil War in Greece or have fled across the borders to run from the ethnic cleansing that ensued when the Civil War ended. That mournful feel is an elegy to the uprooted people, a part of his childhood memories

As a musician, Doneff's thrives on empathy. His musical inspirations have come in response to his experiences and memories. As a result, it follows that Doneff would seek out empathetic musicians and provide them with open-minded compositional vehicles that deliver myriad opportunities to share that emotional load. Rather than the standard supporting role, the musicians here have unusually lyrical, impressionistic contributions that seem to be as much a part of the narrative, thus advancing the overall moods and themes.

This record is a debut release on the author's own label neRED which is strongly supported by the German record label ECM from Munich, both distribution and promotion-wise. The artwork is also done by Fotini Potamia who has also worked on ECM's recent cover art designs. All of this may also reveal why the production qualities on this record closely resemble this renowned label's own.

Rousilvo stands up even if the listener is not aware of the subject matter, but knowing the backstory definitely helps. This work is Doneff's most personal project, and he has laid his soul bare. If in the end we are the sum of our experiences, then the work of the musicians is a reflection of the events that touch our lives. Rousilvo is a spiritual narrative that explores the depth and the vast range of human emotions.

Track Listing: Narrative; Penelopes Of Xanthogeia; Oblivion; Mirka; Natsko; Requiem; Aide Sl'ntse; Zaidi (Traditional Macedonian); Apatris; Kaimaktsalan; Implacable Grief; Song Of The Unquietness; 12 As A Story.

Personnel: Dine Doneff: double bass, tabla, guitar; Takis Farazis: piano, accordion; Kyriakos Tapakis: oud, mandola; Pantelis Stoikos: trumpet; Dimos Dimitriadis: alto saxophone, flute; Antonis Andreou: trombone; Kostas Anastasiadis: drums; Slava Pop'va-Evdoxia Georgiou: voice; Lizeta Kalimeri voice; Martha Mavroidi: voice; Lada Kandarjieva: soprano; Elena Ginina: soprano; Elitsa Dankova: mezzo; Irina Gotcheva: alto.

Title: Rousilvo | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Nered

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019