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Summing up: Russian jazz in 2018

It is difficult to divide music into years, all the more so as to sum up some results for a certain period of time. The music is too majestic to be measured in days, even though these days are as many as 365. But ritual is ritual. So, what is your personal observer who remembered 2018 in Russian jazz. An analysis of what happened through personal impressions with conclusions.

The highest event of the year. Of course, this is the “Day of Jazz” in St. Petersburg. UNESCO Ambassador Herbie Hancock brought this new holiday to us, to Russia, to the Northern capital. A bunch of real stars, events, events – jazz finally began to look like something cool-status-dynamic.

Judging by the stories of insiders, a large-scale event was prepared rather quickly, and often as if directly with God’s providence!
The strangest, but the nicest album of the year. We even reviewed it. This is the “Day De Senar” of the Moscow team of Mediterranean Deconstruction Ensemble. Savory mix of Jewish ethnicity, jazz, avant-garde … unique! I am glad that, firstly, Russian jazzmen are creating more and more author music. Secondly, there is someone to release it – in this case, the label Fancy, which could well be called the “label of the year”, but in the absence of competitors it is somehow strange to do. The best band of the yearLRK Trio is a supergroup, the acoustic trio of pianist Yevgeny Lebedev, double bass player Anton Revnyuk and drummer Ignat Kravtsov. They released an excellent album “Urban Dreamer” on the European label and are generally in demand in “Europe” and “Japan”. They play exclusively their own, difficult smart material, while at concerts they easily rock any public. Due to the ingenious entertainer and real live energy. Ambitious project of the year It would be strange not to mention it here, because we wrote about it twice. This is “Outside the Box” album by drummer Sasha Mashin. For his solo debut in the sound recording of Mashiny, he replayed with many cool Europeans and Americans, he assembled a dream team. Including “Russian foreigners”: trumpeter Alex Sipyagin and saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev. This, by the way, is a long-term trend: the return of ours from abroad, as well as the cooperation of Russians with foreigners. That is, Russian jazz is slowly but surely becoming international … or at least European. Which is quite natural: the new generation of our jazzmen has something to say and something to hit. A powerful sideman of the year. As such, we note the double bass player Sergey Hutas. He not only plays in many interesting jazz and pop projects, but also released a successful solo album. Which we enthusiastically reviewed at the exit. Master of all trades of the year. This is a trio of Dmitry Ilugdin. Completely non-standard jazz trio … or not jazz. Or not a trio? They shoot colorful clips for instrumental compositions and worked so wonderfully with the singer Tatiana Balakirskaya that something quite original, substantial and people obviously liked. This, incidentally, is again to the question that success can be achieved only with its original material containing a personal statement. By the way, next year we are waiting for the next album of the trio of Dmitry Ilugdin. A new player of the year. In social networks every now and then you come across a video with guitarist Yevgeny. Pobozhim. The young jazzman – celebrated the thirtieth anniversary in December – plays a complex, technical, but hot fusion. Alan Holdsworth is remembered! Shooting, where the Divine in a trio with Anton Davidyants, invariably collect rave reviews from older colleagues. Let’s hope that next year Evgeny will record a solo album. Pianist Igor Yakovenko, who jumped into the last car of the year, released an excellent album “Troika” with his trio on the label Fancy Music: double bass – Viktor Shestak, drums – Misha Fochenkov. A lot can be said about this work specifically and about these musicians in general. Apparently, we will review Troika as early as next year. Jazz Club of the Year It seems to me that there are no competitors here at all: the Kozlov Club Alexey Kozlov Club in Moscow. “Kozlevich”, as it is popularly called, after a sudden closure and an equally sudden re-covering in a new place, completely bloomed. In December, the opening of the third (!) Scene.

The good location, the interesting interior in the historic building on Maroseyka and the uninterrupted concerts of ours and foreigners attract a non-jazz public to the club. And this, I think, is the dream of any institution: that everyone should go there, and not just style fans.
The loss of the yearEvery year is marred by the untimely departure of significant musicians. One of the beats (and for me personally) is the absolutely tragic death of Andrey Suchilin – an improvisational guitarist, composer, philosopher … My Facebook friend is not even ashamed to say that he was like my father in the network, Odyssey in the world of music and Thoughts … Although we did not personally meet, but I did an interview with him on Skype and often asked him for clever comments. His amazingly strange polystylichnaya plate “Noema” was reissued several years ago.

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