Thursday, February 6, 2014

Russian music in the key of New Jazz on Leo Records part 3 - Goat's Notes - Fuzzy Wonder

Goat's Notes:
Grigory Sandomirsky - piano, melodica
Vladimir Kudryavtsev - bass
Maria Logovet - violin
Piotr Talalay - drums
Andrey Bessonov - clarinet
Ilya Vilkov - trombone

Leo Records 2013

Goat's Notes (name created when Grigory Sandomirky was filling his notebook "Goals & Notes") is quite a peculiar bunch. Grigory and Vladimir made a commitment to play music together after Anthony Braxton's Quartet performance in Moscow in 2008 (the concert, if you're interested, is released by Leo Records). And so the pianist and the bass player (also an architect and experimental theatre founder) joined their forces and soon found partners in crime - a classically educated violinist involved with both jazz and rock groups, a jazz drummer who flirts with electronica, a linguist-rock music historian-clarinetist and a big band trombone player. Let's meet Goat's Notes.

"Fuzzy Wonder" is comprised of 14 tracks in, most of them around in the range of 3-4 minutes, in short it's quite a roller-coaster. Goat's Notes' music is quite a fun mixture of old and new, left and right of jazz, free, rock, cabaret, and else. Take "Party flowers" with a fast-walking bass and weird swing solos and heavy rock coda (rumbling trombone and crying violin against a bass riff) it's all meddled in one pot. A few pieces would fit well in a bit cartoonish chase scene in a noir movie (fast paced "Preface and Gentle Chimeras" with a steady beat pulse and and heated solo exchanges). On the other pod are the abstract explorations like "Little Scene for Beckett" filled with spare and strange sounds.
One way or another Goat's Notes music is filled with surprising twists and connections. "Landscape Architecture alternates moments of lyricism, majestic pathos and crying abandon. The solemn melody of "Moses First Desert Morning" which emerges from the dense improv and spare tones.  The roaring clarinet and heavy bass riff of "The Fence".  The crazy galopade of "Salad for the Happy Ones" with it's sudden stops and turns.

Goat's Notes music has no borders and no care for stylistical purity. Fun avant-guard, loose and without pretense, compared in the liner notes quite accurately to Zappa's Mothers of Invention, half-serious and half-ironic. Unusal instrumental line-up and all-indcluded approach brings music that is fresh and energizing. Bit weird and crazy but the good kind of crazy and weird. 

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