Spring, love, dance: four new jazz albums
For some mysterious reason, Russian jazz albums come out in waves. And it is clear that domestic labels (there are two, four in total?) Have no collusion, just as there is no promotion strategy. Then you try to find out those Russians on a CD with fire in the afternoon, then suddenly – a shaft.
Here in May, something like this happened. And it is gratifying to see that our people are trying to do something sharp, fresh, attractive and break out of the usual jazz frames. Sometimes it’s almost pop music made by jazzmen. This is especially interesting, because “real” pop music, is that on radio and music channels – well, not at all. In our current review – Russian ethno-jazz, funk, an international project and, for comparison, the famous club Englishmen. Spring, love, everyone dances!
Anna Koroleva “Ocean Inside” I accidentally found out about this release of the Art Beat label – from the art director of the Kozlov club. The fact that we have with jazz PR doesn’t matter – not news, but this album is somehow especially offensive. For it can be easily addressed to a wide audience, because it is literally folk – and in fact, and in style.
Anna Koroleva – star of the Russian jazz scene, alto saxophonist. Double album: intelligent light fusion on the first CD, and on the second – Russian folk songs. More precisely, the Russian tunes are authentic – “grandmothers” or childish – voices, from which witty improvisation grows. Pretty fresh: a new dimension of the usual seemingly ethno-jazz. The original Russian swing. Or swing in Russian. Emotions going wild as they say.Apple.Music, Yandeks.Muzyka, DeezerSecret Atelier “Notes” Madonna’s song, sung by the voice of Amy Winehouse or blues with Joss Stone’s vocal – can you imagine that? I also could not, until I got to the concert of Sveta Zhavoronkova, and she is the only one of the Moscow soul / alder-jazz scene. Her English-speaking project Secret Atelier is not deafeningly popular for one reason only – it is English-speaking. And the music is a very thoroughbred, bright mosaic of funk, soul, arenaby and everything in the same spirit. I would compare the sound of some songs with the early Brand New Heavies, but who will remember them now? And here – original melodies and swinging rhythms, a real groove of the rhythm section, tenacious guitar parts of musicians and the flying voice of Mrs. Zhavoronkova. Although made with a clear perfectionist approach – in some places the record seems glossy – but no deliberate aestheticism, just – joy. Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerEzra Collective “You Can’t Steal My Joy” Continuing the theme of Secret Atelier, Brand New Heavies and others. “You will not steal joy”, – tells us the name of the record of the London quintet Ezra Collective. The group that plays this kind of mosaic club music, reinterpreting all the same noble genres – funk, soul, jazz and so on. Plus elements of African folklore. A few years spinning on the London stage, now they have released their debut album – long awaited, long-awaited, as they say in such cases; in this – quite rightly. In general, what plays Ezra Collective, in the 90s would be called acid jazz, but we, thank God, live in a different era. Difficult, heaped sound, rhythms from dub to break-beat – and all this gives simple emotions. “What Am I to Do” with slowly-haughty rap Loyle Carnera – just a hit. Joy you can’t steal. Do colleagues especially musicians. Apple.Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerMakar Novikov & Hiske Oosterwijk “Stereobass” We will complete the international Russian-Dutch project with two double-bass players. And one of the double bass players – Daria Chernakova, is extremely in demand in the capital’s jazz scenes. The instigators of the project are the Moscow bass player Makar Novikov and the Dutch singer Hiske Osterweik, who is distinguished by amazing articulation and accurate intonation. Album of author’s songs in English and French, and two songs on, imagine, Frisian (this is also Germanic, the second native of Hiske). Stereobass is one of the first releases of the St. Petersburg label Rainy Days, which debuted as drummer Sasha Mashina. Here he also plays, and his characteristic sound and sbivochki – exactly what this music needs. Actually, what kind of music? Not jazz, not funk, not … Here, for example, the first song, “Yellow Car” – in her first arpeggios, like any Coldplay. The final “Junbea” is a slowly accelerating folk ballad with the hypnotic piano of Alexey Ivannikov. But the stylistic definition is the only thing that can break your head. Because, in fact, the music in this very head “comes in” perfectly.