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Take Five With Vladimir Vysotsky

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Vladimir Vysotsky: Vladimir Vysotski (b. 1982) is a pianist, composer, songwriter and producer. He studied classical and jazz piano at Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Received the Nokia Young Talent Award in 2004. Today, Vysotsky participates in several jazz and experimental bands in the Estonian Music scene. He has an eclectic music style, getting inspiration from many sources and freely combining different music genres to create a fresh and unique sound.

Instrument(s):

Keyboards, piano, live electronics.

Teachers and/or influences? My first "teacher" was probably a Michael Brecker record, borrowed from a friend . It got me addicted to listening to jazz and, as a consequence, a strong wish to learn it, because before that time I was playing only classical music. Later, during my school years, I studied jazz music with Jarmo Savolainen, Kari Ikonen, Anders Jormin and other prominent musicians in the Scandinavian jazz scene.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... For me to be a musician is one form of expressing myself, I think I always knew it.

Your sound and approach to music: I'm very demanding about sound quality. I believe that every single detail in music creates the whole picture, so I can spend many hours fine-tuning my keyboard parts in the studio.

Your teaching approach: I always try to be guiding, not dictating anything to my students. If they have enough motivation to learn, then it is excellent, if not—I'm there to help them find this motivation. I believe that jazz music at some point can only be learned, not taught.

Your dream band:

An ideal band for me is that where musical communication between its members is achieved without a need to explain anything verbally.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Driving to the gig at the right venue but to the wrong city...

Favorite venue:

It all works for me as long as there is a good sound and a warm audience!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? My musical taste is changing over time. Previously it was a long Brad Mehldau's period, but nowadays we have been given so much music that it is really hard to define just one.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Jim Beard's Advocate

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? Giving people positive emotions.

Did you know...

Isn't it all on Google nowadays? :)

CDs you are listening to now:

The Ploctones, 050 (Challenge Records;

Björk, Volta (One Little Indian;

Bugge Wesseltoft, Film Ing (Jazzland;

Kyoto Jazz Massive, Spirit of the Sun (Compost Records;

Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells (Virgin Records).

Desert Island picks: Herbie Hancock, The New Standard (Verve).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Jazz is changing, which means it is living. And I'm happy to see and hear those changes.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? A jazz musician's good taste, an open mind, and seeing the prospects.

What is in the near future? Next I have plans to release an EP with my Eclectic project, which is going to be a mixture of club music and improvisation, electronic sounds and acoustic instruments.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Rock star!

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