Vladimir Tarasov

ATTO I: Something Has Happened Against the Marine Background

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For what ever reason, the Italian Sonore label issued all eight of premier Russian percussionist Vladimir Tarasov's solo recordings in reverse order. So, finally, after seven long volumes, listeners get to hear the roots of the moment that started it all. And it was worth the wait. Tarasov is one of free jazz' most brilliant practitioners. He showed this to listeners early on, when he was the driving force behind the Ganelin Trio, one of the most celebrated and lamented groups in Russian jazz history. Here, he proves that he is so far beyond the drums -- while using them almost exclusively -- that the word "percussionist" barely contains him. A two-part suite, "Something Has Happened Against the Marine Background" is a journey into the heart of the trap kit -- not only its sonorities and expressionistic nuances, but also its tonal origins and the root of its color palette, which are far vaster than anyone had any right to suspect. Drumming here is a dance, not involving the mysteries of sound and shade, texture and surface, but rather it is the place where all pre-lingual expressions are heard and experienced on the musical level. This volume saturates itself in that notion and articulates not full utterances but combinations of monosyllables and parsed, broken phrases. That Tarasov takes the trouble at all is remarkable, that he does this so hypnotically and mystifyingly is worth merit -- and that he does so with compelling force, humor, and accessibility is a musical miracle.

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