I must have been about 17 years old when a disc called Symphonie pour le jour où brûleront les cités, Musique pour l’Odyssée and Archives 1, performed by a band I had never heard of called Art Zoyd, kept staring me in the face, while I heard voices in my wallet saying, “Take it.” I had just recently discovered Univers Zero, a contemporary band, and was told by the ever-knowledgeable staff at Rhino Records in Claremont, California, that it was a winner. Indeed, it was, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard up until that point. Chamber-rock wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time, but that would be the term which fit the band best. It’s good to see this album in its proper form, but I really do hope that Sub Rosa, who took the time to do such a wonderful job producing this disc, re-releases Art Zoyd’s whole back catalog, including bonus tracks. Each disc has been worth it.
It’s been some time since we heard from our friend and Silent Island guitarist István Csarnogurszky, so when he told us he had a new EP out, we jumped at the chance to give it a listen.
It’s a shimmering as ever. Relaxed, confident progressive rock instrumentals infused with a more modern post-rock feel. There are elements of jazz fusion, albeit of a more smooth variety.
Another peach from István and crew!
The creator of the Theremin would have been 119 years old today!
Those who know me well, say, for at least 15 years, know that I have tried throughout my life to be a champion for Soviet Jazz. They had something exquisite that the world didn’t have full access to until the end of Communism. One of these treasures hailed from Azerbaijan.
With the passing of B. B. King a few days ago, I was reminded of a story when the legendary blues guitarist came to the Soviet Union to watch a jazz festival. After seeing Vagif Mustafa Zade play, he named the stunned pianist as the ‘true king of the blues’. Vagif would die at age 35 in 1979, suffering a heart attack while performing onstage at a concert in Uzbekistan.
May his memory be eternal.
Many thanks to Funked Up East for their incredible selection of Soviet music.