Happy55 are a jazz trio from the southern industrial city of Voronezh. Against that backdrop, and the weight of ailing history, these gifted performers find much value in improvisation and spontaneity.
"The band has trouble recalling specific dates. Its members instead neglect any chronology; in fact, they're barely able to count, giving all the time they've spent working with different time signatures"
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
Moscow's Fancy Music is announcing a range of new jazz recordings. Originating both in the capital and Novosibirsk, they give voice to a passionate defense of deviation, difference, and inclusion.
Various alternatives are suggested to dull and industrial typicality. They include looping retrospection towards childhood, bold surrealism, the open vistas of imagination, and major drug usage.
Fancy Music is a discerning Moscow label, publishing both jazz and contemporary classical recordings. Some of those jazz projects form a collective worldview of willing risk and anticipation
A recording from Leonid Fedorov and Vladimir Volkov examines how St. Petersburg's cityscape changes over time. The baroque trajectories of music outdo the linear passage of urban "progress."
Starting in the Pacific city of Khabarovsk, four introspective recordings consider the name and nature of perfection. Some values or virtues seem to benefit from being eternally out of reach.
Several new electronic recordings paint an increasingly dark picture of social realia. The most persuasive response to civic failings and their dubious logic appears to be "transcendental surrealism."