Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vezhlivy Otkaz, Geese and Swans

For you restless souls like me who seek the different and worthy even if it is not lurking at your back door, I have something for you today. I present to you the Russian band Vezhlivy Otkaz, an outfit quite well-liked over there by many, yet unknown to us in the States. They have a number of albums out. Today we cover their 2010 opus, Geese and Swans (Zen 033).

The music on this one defies easy description or blithe categorization. It is essentially music in song form, music which incorporates elements of progressiveness from rock, jazz and musical theater (I am thinking of classic Kurt Weill, though he may not be a part of their direct influence) plus what one might call folk-ethnic elements. This is most definitely music carefully composed and arranged, but with a lively spontaneity to it.

The band is first-rate, seemingly centered around guitarist and vocalist Roman Suslov, who had a hand it seems in the composing. Orbiting around his central pivoting point are Mikail Mitin on drums, Pavel Karmanov on grand piano and flute, Dmitry Shumilov on electric and acoustic basses and vocals, Sergey Ryzhenko on electric violin and vocals, Andrey Solovyov on trumpet. Together they form a tight-knit, musically sophisticated outfit that has drive and a dynamic directness as well.

The music puts the band through some intricate progressive routines that show originality and the local as well as the universal. This is music not quite like anything you may have heard. It has a songful, rough-hewn lyricism that contrasts well with musically demanding virtuosity. It gives you an excellent listen.

If you want something very much new and unexpected, Vezhlivy Otkaz and their Geese and Swans come through with an album that gives you all of that, and does it very, very well.

Quite recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment