The third installment in Leo Feigin's series of quadruple CD sets documenting Soviet avant-garde jazz in the '80s delivers once again an overwhelming dose of good, challenging music. Only 40 minutes of the five hours of music have been previously available. Disc one, featuring Homo Liber, is the strangest and most interesting. This duo, formed of Yuri Yukechev and Vladimir Tolkachev, has left a short discography, which gives this disc extra value. Their music jumps from classical chamber to free jazz in the nick of time. "In Memory of Andrey Tarkovsky" stands out as a particularly brilliant tribute, even if it avoids the sparseness of Tarkovsky's films (on the other hand, it does pastiche Edward Artemiev's soundtracks in one section). The second disc is devoted to Ganelin Trio's Vladimir Chekasin and his big band projects. Bombastic and filled with references to the history of jazz, "Pathological Music" is from late 1983 and features singer Elvira Shlykova in the lineup. The other piece on the disc is an abridged version (to 40 minutes) of the Leo LP New Vitality. Disc three is split between Sainkho Namchylak and Tri-O. The colorful singer from Tuva is heard in short-lived collaborations with Sergey Kuryokhin's Pop Mechanics and Mikhail Zhukov. This is followed by a handful of tracks recorded in 1989 and 1991 with Tri-O. The group is then represented alone in two of its incarnations (Sergey Letov, Arkady Kirichenko, and Alexandr Alexandrov in 1989, with Arkady Shilkloper in place of the latter in 1988). The last disc of the set features trumpeter Andrew Solovyev, guitarist Igor Grigoryev, and cellist Vladislav Makarov in various groupings between 1983 and 1990. It includes some pretty straightforward hard bop (the group Asphalt), strong free improv (especially the Makarov/Alexander Kondrashkin duets), and a closing 18-minute piece for four overdubbed trumpets by Solovyev. Not as striking as volume two, volume three is also less varied in terms of stylistic range -- a positive thing in this case. Creative jazz fans are more likely to appreciate it in its entirety.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture