Vladimir Danilin / Alexei Kuznetsov / Alex Rostotsky
Once I Loved
1998 © Boheme Music
This album is the result of joint work of very interesting musicians,
who are rated the best Russian jazz players. The idea of this
recording was suggested by Moscow bass guitarist Alexander
Rostotsky. Rostotsky - one of the few jazz bassists who plays only the
electric instrument - began playing jazz in the late 1970s - early
1980s. From 1989 to 1995 he was listed at the top of the "bass
guitar" category in the Russian jazz critics' charts.
This project, by the way the first album produced for Boheme Music,
was conceived by Rostotsky as a solo album of accordionist Vladimir
Danilin. Rostotsky arranged the music and produced the recording
for Boheme Music at Grand Studios (Moscow); music was recorded and mixed by Olga Moshkowa, one of Moscow's top recording engineers specializing in jazz.
A few words about the main soloist. Back in 1960s Danilin played the accordion at dances in his home town of Lyubertsy in the Moscow Region. In 70s he switched over to the piano and it was as a pianist that he made his reputation. For many years he worked in Oleg Lundstrem Orchestra and gained wide acknowledgement for his exquisite harmonic thinking and brilliant style. But Danilin the pianist had no solo recordings. In 90s changes in the country brought changes to the Russian jazz life and Danilin returned to the accordion. He performs extensively with other musicians, plays in the most popular Moscow jazz clubs several times a week, participates - with his own group - in festivals, once he even played in the Bigger Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, as a special guest at a concert of Oleg Lundstrem Orchestra he used to work in. However, up until now Danilin has not had any solo records, though he is a remarkable musician and makes the accordion - a fairly rare instru ment for jazz - sound amazingly jazzy. But now justice has at last prevailed and in Alexander Rostotsky's new project Danilin reveals himself to the full.
Approximately half of the album tracks are recorded by the trio of Danilin, Rostotsky and Alexei Kuznetsov - a remarkable guitar player. Their music has a warm chamber sound. In the absence of drums the rhythm is set by the guitar and electric bass, and the accordion sings and talks to their soft beat. Other pieces are played by the quartet of Danilin, Rostotsky, drummer Edward Zizak (formerly a player in Anatoly Kroll orchestra) and young keyboardist Yakov Okun (son of the legendary jazz pianist Mikhail Okun). Okun plays the magic Rhodes Piano - an electrical analogue device in which the sound is not synthesized but picked up from metal rods functioning as grand piano strings. The enchanting sound of this instrument combines beautifully with Vladimir Danilin's accordion. There is more drive and vigor in this part of the album though the overall mood still remains romantically pensive. The wonderful arrangement of Nikita Bogoslovsky's theme "I'd Been Dreaming of You for Three Years" is a perfect illustration of this.
Selection of music deserves special praise: none of the themes are hackneyed and they are all vivid and readily remembered.
The new album by Alexander Rostotsky and Vladimir Danilin seems to present the rare kind of music appealing to a broadest audience while at the same time interesting and full of meaning for connoisseurs of jazz. This disk is an exquisite job indeed.
Translated by Olga Romanova
1. But Beautiful (Johny Burke/James Van Heusen) (5:02)
2. I'd Been Dreaming Of You For Three Years (N. Bogoslovsky) (6:40)
3. Bernie's Tune (Bernie Miller/Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller) (5:28)
4. Waltz For Ksenia (Alex Rostotsky) (6:06)
5. Once I Loved (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Viniclus de Moraes) (6:47)
6. You And The Night And The Music (Howard Deitz/Arthur Schwartz)
7. You Don't Know, What Love Is (Gene De Paul/Don Raye) (6:29)
8. Running In The Family (Steve Swallow) (4:28)
9. One For The Woofer (Billy Taylor) (5:39)
10. Good Bye Ballad (Gordon Jenkins) (6:04)
11. Lullaby Of Leaves (Joe Young/Bernice Petkere) (7:09)