Europe Jazz Media Chart, February 2021: The Russian Pick

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Kruglov-Sooäär Quartet «Arsenal» (ArtBeat Music)

A Russian-Estonian avant jazz rock quartet co-led by sax player Alexey Kruglov and guitarist Jaak Sooäär offers a tribute to Arsenal, Soviet Union’s pioneering jazz rock fusion band which was extensively touring the USSR in 1970s and 80s. This tough, intriguing, and quirky album is dedicated to the 85th birthday of Alexey Kozlov, the Russian alto sax player who still leads Arsenal (in its 4th or 5th incarnation) nearly 50 years after founding it in Moscow. None of the quartet members ever played with Arsenal, except Kruglov who once was the legendary band’s special guest and also performed with Kozlov in the latter’s side projects, but they listened to the famed Soviet band as teenagers; the more curios the results. (Anna Filipieva, Jazz.Ru Magazine)

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify| Deezer

Alexey Kruglov – alto saxes, soprano sax, clarinet, alto clarinet, prepared alto sax and alto clarinet, alto sax mouthpiece, voice
Jaak Sooäär – electric guitar, live-electronics
Mihkel Mälgand – bass guitar, double bass
Tanel Ruben – drums

Music by Alexey Kozlov, arranged by Kruglov-Sooäär Quartet. Poem ‘The Stranger‘ by Alexander Block (track 6)

Tracks 1, 5, 6 recorded at Vladimir Osinsky Studio by Viacheslav Motylyov, Moscow, April 2019.
Tracks 2-4, 7 recorded at Estonian Public Broadcasting by Teet Kehlmann, Tallinn, October 2019.
Mixed and mastered at Vladimir Osinsky Studio by Evgeny Shevchuk
Photos by Rene Jakobson from Sõru Jazz Festival
Design by Alexander Medvedev
Produced by Nikolay ‘BigNick’ Bogaichuk

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