Russian-born trumpeter Vitaly Golovnev lives in New York City now, but he maintains ties to his homeland. He recorded this album in Moscow in May, 2015 with his Russian group. Golovnev (who was a semi-finalist in the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition) also plays flugelhorn here, and provided most of the compositions. The music is hard bop all the way. He is joined on the front line by Azat Bayazitov (soprano & tenor saxophones) and flutist Anton Zaletayev (on two tracks), ably supported by bassist Anton Revnyuk and drummer Ignat Kravtsov .
They get down to cases right off the bat with "Blues For My Dues," followed by Bayazitov's contribution "Deciding," an up-tempo bop tune with an especially prominent bass part. Zaletayev's flute first appears on "Another Scene," where it fills out the group sound and provides a nice contrast to the brassier sound of the rest of the tracks There's also a fleet-fingered flute solo, and a three-way conversation from all the horns. "Decade" sounds like it would have been right at home in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers bookso maybe the decade of the title is the 1950s.
The title tune revisits a song from his debut album To Whom It May Concern (Tippin Records, 2009), where it was entitled "Whose Shoes" and was played with a swing feel. In this version he's playing trumpet through a wha-wha pedal, a cool surprise that suits the sort of hip-hop groove. It's not a huge changeat first it almost sounds like a traditional wha-wha trumpet mute, but then more guitar-like effects start to creep in. Revnyuk contributes "Tic Tac Toe," which again adds flute to the mix. Then it's time for "Oneness," the longest and most expansive track in the set. It's a bit freer and more modern sounding than the rest of the set, and there's space for a fine tenor sax/bass duet, as well as a drum solo. The album closes out with a gentle "Conversation" between trumpet and bass (both given composer credit) with light drum accompaniment using brushes.
When In Moscow presents a strong program of classic jazz with some interesting contemporary elements. Vitaly Golovnev has a distinctive voice on trumpet, and he showcases a fine cast of exceptional Russian jazz players.
Blues For My Dues; Deciding; Another Scene; Decade; When In Moscow; Tic Tac Toe; Oneness; Conversation.
Vitaly Golovnev: flugelhorn, trumpet; Anton Zaletayev: flute (3.6); Azat Bayazitov: soprano & tenor saxophones (1-7); Anton Revnyuk: bass; Ignat Kravtsov: drums.
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