Musical analogues: Vladimir Chekasin, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, John Coltrane
literary-musical performance, free jazz, improvisatory music, avant-garde
Recorded in 2011 / Released in 2012
Catalogue number: AB-CD-09-2012-025
Languages of the booklet: Russian, English
Publishing House: OOO “ArtBeat”, 127051, Moscow, Trubnaya st., 32, building 4
Sales Department: + 7.903.2090450
It is a new album of the saxophonist Alexey Kruglov and the guitarist Jaak Soojaar who are bright representatives of Russian and European improvisatory music.
Album review“Stereo Autumn” contains two discs with live performances of Alexey and Jaak in different line-ups (trio and septet) released under the record label “ArtBeat Music”. Both discs are in contemplative poetic mood.
The first disc called “Portrait of a Little Flower” consists of 5 pieces which constitute a musical space developing according to dramatic, we may say, theatrical, rules. There is no point to describe the dramaturgy, we won’t deprive listeners of a pleasant work, we will only show the aspects of performance. The first piece that has given the name to the disc begins with the saxophone monologue which transfers into the dialogue with guitar, afterwards “the final word rests for” the guitar. The second one (“Battle”) starts with a tragicomic march in Shnitke style to go later into hard rock with the almost free- jazz saxophone, into the contradiction of two themes. The third piece (“Poet”) starts with Kruglov’s poems in his recitation with the accompaniment of percussion and rare sounds of guitar, words transfer into sounds, in the final we hear a beautiful theme on the saxophone. The fourth piece (“Comfort” translation from Danish) is called in paradox way: I don’t know what comfort is for Danes but in the piece it is expressed with avant-garde guitar and with discordant rock-riffs. The final piece (“Time Stamp… or Attempts to Search for Lost Knowledge”) is well-known to connoisseurs of Kruglov’s music, its main image is time which flows sometimes distinctly and slow, sometimes fast, nervously, unpredictably, like life does. Generally, “Portrait of a Little Flower” is, largely, a continuation of Kruglov’s dramaturgic work, his projects that combine literature and music. The disc arouses interest as a composition of compositions with big share of improvisation.
The second disc “Following Love Supreme” sounds in a more traditional way: brass section, grand piano, contrabass. It is a live improvisation in performance of Alexey, Jaak and “Kruglyi Band”, the starting point is the great album of John Coltrane, taken to “pass through their personalities” and to return to Coltrane, to our today interpretation of his music and to developing of his ideas.
In total, the album is one of the most successful experiences of fixing music improvisation which can be enjoyed both at the live concert and when listening to the record.
I’d like to add that the design of the album is very stylish, made in autumn colors, and fully corresponds with the contents. Alexey and Jaak consider the album to be one of the best editions of their work for today.
It is one more reason to purchase the album for one’s collection.”
CD 1 – “Portrait of a Little Flower”
Written and arranged by Alexey Kruglov (2, 3, 5) and Jaak Soojaar (1, 4), poems by Alexey Kruglov (3, 5)
Record participants: Alexey Kruglov – soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, basset horn, sopranissimo recorder, grand piano strings, declamation; Jaak Soojaar – electric guitar, electronics; Oleg Yudanov – drums, percussion
CD 2 – “Following «A Love Supreme»”
Participants: Alexey Kruglov – alto saxophone; Jaak Soojaar – electric guitar, electronics; Oleg Yudanov – drums, percussion; “Kruglyi Band” in the line-up: Anton Zaletaev – soprano saxophone; Oleg Grymov – tenor saxophone; Renat Gataulin – grand piano, strings of grand piano; Denis Shushkov – contrabass