177

Lev Ljova Zhurbin: Vjola: World on Four Strings

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
: Vjola: World on Four Strings Unlike the piano or saxophone, there is little precedent for solo viola albums in jazz or creative music. For his ambitious debut, Lev "Ljova Zhurbin confronts that challenge with a compelling set of tunes reflecting a voracious range of stylistic influences, performed almost exclusively on viola. Lacking the tendency for shrillness of its smaller cousin, the violin, or the cello's propensity for melancholy, the viola offers a broad aural spectrum, which Zhurbin expertly weaves into rich soundscapes with multitracking and elegant solo statements.

"Central Park in the Dark stirs a plangent tone with the lone voice slowly unfurling its tale. Zhurbin, a veteran film scorer, effectively creates narratives with a shifting dynamic flow. A bright pizzicato lays the rhythmic foundation of "Bagel on the Malecon, supporting the long, yearning melodic line and a bouncy counterpart. The layers blend seamlessly, and despite the fact that they were played separately and overdubbed, there is a sense of interaction. Zhurbin attained this feel by recording the sections in close succession for an overall sound that is natural and not stilted by the multitracking.

"Coffee and Rum boasts a vaguely old-timey feel that sways with charming ease. Zhurbin demonstrates the viola's range with a bass line on "Crosstown that propels the sly blues. The ever-inspirational Björk's "Army of Me is radically deconstructed and reworked; Zhurbin teases the melody before abstrusely stating it amid swirling overtones. Michael Ward-Bergeman's accordion on "Garmoshka imbues a sense of Eastern European folk music, a flavor sprinkled throughout the Russia-born Zhurbin's album. Like many younger musicians, this leader has absorbed a panoply of music and gleefully undermines rigid notions of genre.


Track Listing: Central Park in the Dark; Bagel on the Malecon; O'er; Plume; Ori's Fearful Symmetry; Coffee + Rum; Middle Village; Army of Me; Garmoshka; Crosstown; Seltzer, Do I Drink Too Much?; Four; Collage; Breadbasket Blues; Spring Valley Sunset.

Personnel: Lev Ljova Zhurbin: violas; Michael Ward-Bergeman: accordion (9).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Kapustnik Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 19, 2016
Read "Simplicity" CD/LP/Track Review Simplicity
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Starer" CD/LP/Track Review Starer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Rise" CD/LP/Track Review Rise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!