I really owe all of my passion for Eastern European/Soviet Improvisational and Experimental music to one man: Leo Feigin of Leo Records. It was through his introduction, via his catalog and a few letters back and forth, that I was introduced to such artists as Vyacheslav Ganelin (the Ganelin Trio’s leader, now based in Israel), Sergei Belichenko and Roman Stolyar, a friend to this day.
Before Dagestan, in southern Russia, became a worthless subsidiary for radical Islamists, it was producing some rather amazing musicians and composers of note. Murad Kazhlaev (sometimes transliterated as Murad Kajlayev) hailed originally from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from a Lak family. He moved on to Dagestan, and would work with the Melodiya Records Orchestra, churning out great jazz like this.
If anyone from Dagestan could give me information on more interesting artists, I’d be indebted.
Tõnu Naissoo is one of the best musicians in both Estonia and was among the leading lights the whole of the former Soviet Union’s exceptional jazz scene.