Musical analogues: L. Subramaniam, Jan Garbarek, Dead Can Dance
Album genres: folk, neo-classic, world music, jazzy folk, experimental music
Written and arranged by Alex Rostotsky (in the compositions 1-4, 6-8 words from folk songs are used)
Record participants: Alex Rostotsky – vocals, synthesizers, vocoder, programming, bass; Yuri Parfenov – trumpet; Anna Sokolova – vocals; Pavel Chekmakovsky – guitar; Sergey Ostroumov – drums, string orchestra; Elena Romanova – vocals, mixed chamber choir (conductor – Vyacheslav Simonov), Keshab Kanti Choudkhuri – vocals, Sergey Golovnya – tenor saxophone; Evgeny Borets – grand piano, synthesizers, Anton Revnyuk – bass
Recorded in 2012 / Released in 2012
Catalogue number: AB-CD-10-2011-008
Languages of the booklet: Russian, English
Publishing House: OOO “ArtBeat”, 127051, Moscow, Trubnaya st., 32, building 4
Sales Department: + 7.903.2090450
The album you are holding in your hands is one of the sides of Rostotsky’s music multiculturalism. The album includes music written by Alex and is based on the melodics of Russian song folklore and on the original texts of folk songs.
Album review“One of the most important characteristics of Alex Rostotsky’s musical projects is their universality. Elements of different musical cultures – Africa, India, Middle East, jazz rock, electronics, academical classic, Russian folklore – can be naturally combined not only in one album but in one piece. This multiculturalism, polyethnicity is not a rare thing in world music (where it is the main principle of musical language) but it is a rare thing in jazz. And Rostotsky’s partners are mainly jazz musicians.
The compilation album you are holding in your hands is a proof of Rostotsky’s multiculturalism. For the album “A Swan is Swimming By” he has chosen out of his records of XXI century 9 tracks connected with “Russian theme”. He has much more. For example, his album “Strolls with Mussorgsky” (2006) is entirely dedicated to jazz and symphonic -jazz interpretations of the great Russian composer of XIX century. But this compilation contains composer’s music but music written by Alex and based on Russian song folklore and – in 7 tracks of 9 – on the original texts of folk songs.
We should not look in this music for ethnic documentary or for simplified “popular’ interpretations. Nothing is simple in it. The recognizable harmonic passages of Slavic folklore combines with electronic rhythms, or with sharp Indian percussion, or with almost academic symphonism and all of this is permeated with long jazz instrumental working-outs. First of all, we should emphasize the sophisticated playing of the constant partner of Rostotsky in his “world” projects of 2000-s, the legendary trumpeter and flugelhorn player Yuri Parfenov, the best among our improvisators specialist in musical Orientalism(it doesn’t surprise as he became famous in the late 70-s when he performed on the Soviet scene and played “oriental” jazz rock with the legendary group from Tashkent “Bumerang”). Strong solos in jazz style are also played by the other record participants of different years the guitarist Pavel Chekmakovsky, the tenor-saxophonist Sergey Golovnya and the others.
The special feature of the compilation is vocal parts. The academic vocalists Anna Sokolova and Elena Romanova, the entire chamber choir (the conductor is Vyacheslav Simonov) and a spicy “dressing” of Indian vocal of the percussion player Keshab Kanti Choudkhuri make different tracks shine with diverse sound sides; but the most exotic element of the soundtrack is vocal of Rostotsky. He has a definite singing experience (for many years he had been a chorister in the Orthodox temple), but his vocal doesn’t play in the album a traditional “vocal” role, rather, it is a part of instrumental arrangement, moreover, Alex often sings via vocoder which gives his voice mystical, or romantic, or slightly ironic sounding of exotic synthesizer timbre.
All together brings an unusual effect in which we can specify these or those stylistic elements, but it is hardly worth doing: it is not quite jazz, not at all rock, not exactly ethnic folklore and not clich? “world music”, it is a deeply individual music of Alex Rostotsky, which in this compilation is turned to the listener its recognizable Russian side with.”
Kirill Moshkov, Chief Editor “Jazz.ru” Magazine