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Anatole Gerasimov
soprano, tenor sax, flutes, shakuhachi flute, composer, arranger

Anatole Gerasimov (photo by Pavel Antonov)Born in Moscow, Russia Oct. 8, 1945, Anatole taught himself to play saxophones and flutes while in his teens. He played Russia's best jazz bands since mid-60s. In early 70s, world best jazz bands started to visit USSR: Duke Ellington Orchestra, then Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Toots Thielemans and others. Anatole played with all of them. This time playing jazz in Soviet Union became different because of Soviet bureaucracy's bad attitude to American music, and many jazz musicians have lost their job. Anatole left Russia for New York in 1973.
His first job was for Duke Ellington, and when Duke died in 1974, Anatole continued to play for the orchestra led by Duke's son Mercer for some time and even recorded an album for Fantasy Records as orchestra's member. In the next two decades, Anatole played with Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, recorded with John Scofield, Jaco Pastorius and many others. He also wrote music for TV, movies and theater. Some of his top film works are:
The Solar Energy, a documentary, together with John Scofield (1981);
Liquid Sky (Z Film Cinevista, 1983, Grand Prix of Montreal International Movie Festival)
Summer Echoes (Paul Paulini Films, 1985)
Rita (1986, PBS TV)
Gogol in the Subway (1990, Henry Street Productions)

Anatole GerasimovAnatole Gerasimov has moved to Paris, France in early 90s. He worked there with Carlos Nascimento, the Urban Sax group and other World music bands as well as making music for movies and theater.
In 1994, he first visited Russia since he became an umigru. He took part in record sessions with one of Russia's most famous alternative rock groups, the Auction. In 1996, Anatole has moved to his hometown of Moscow, Russia. He recorded his first Russian CD in Siberia's capital Novosibirsk the same year and formed a new group in Moscow. In 1997, he received the Jazz Master of the Year prize from Moscow Jazz Journalists Association and recorded an album during three live sessions on the air on a Moscow's jazz radio. His music video "Bloomdido" directed by Gregory Amnuel was shown on Russia's nationwide 2nd TV channel (Russia Television). In 1998 Anatole played with his Moscow group in NYC at 2nd Sergei Kuriokhin International Festival (the Cooler, Merkin Hall etc.), then took part in Russia's first moving jazz festival - The Jazz Province (8 cities in Central Russia including Moscow) and in 3rd Sergei Kuriokhin International Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Anatole Gerasimov group, 1999His latest CD contains his radio sessions of 1997 and is released by Russian jazz label Boheme Music. Recorded by Moscow's top jazz sound engineer Olga Moshkowa, the album is titled "Yes!" and contains Anatole's own music plus one standard ("Bloomdido" by Charlie Parker) in Anatole's arrangement.

Anatole Gerasimov group includes Anton Sevidov, Yuri Pogiba (keyboards), Anton Revnyuk (bass guitar) and Dmitri Sevastianov (drums).

Anatole Gerasimov's selected discography:
Albatros (with Peter Hammil), BASF, 1980
Liquid Sky (motion picture soundtrack), Cinevista, 1983
As Time Flies, Nana Records (US), Melodiya (USSR), 1989
Anatole Live, Nana Records (US), 1990
Zhilets Vershin (The Mountain Tops Resident) (by The Auction), SNC (Russia), 1996
Far Away (with Siberian Jazz Project), SJP (Russia), 1997
Yes!, Boheme Music (Russia), 1998

Anatole Gerasimov - "Yes"Anatole Gerasimov - "Yes"
Boheme Music, CDBMR 809015, 1998
This album could be purchased from Boheme Music directly or, if you live outside Russia, from Boheme International (Prague, Czech Republic).

  • "To burn but not on fire"available in Real Audio - click and listen
  • "Aurora"available in Real Audio - click and listen
Anatole Gerasimov during "Yes" recording sessionAnatole Gerasimov, soprano sax and flute player, was born in Moscow, and started to play jazz while in his teens. It was 1973 when Gerasimov, having emerged as a star in Anatole Kroll's big band, defected to the United States where his first job was for Duke Ellington Orchestra. After Duke's death, Anatole played with NYC best jazzmen as a sideman or even as a soloist, but his main work was for TV and movies (for example, it was Gerasimov who wrote the song for 1983 blockbuster, "The Liquid Sky"). In 90, he lived three or four years in Paris, until returning to his home town of Moscow in 1996. When in Moscow, he formed a new group where he is looked as a "veteran" - nobody but him in the group is older than 30 (Anatole is 54), and the keyboard player, impulsive and full of energy viruoso Anton Sevidov, is only 18 years old.
Anatole Gerasimov and "Yes"The album was recorded during Anatole's three appearances at Moscow Swing, Russia's only live radio jazz concert series. Aired on Rakurs, Moscow's funniest eclectic radio which was closed in early 1998 due to serious financial problems, Moscow Swing provided a weekly concert, played live in the station's special concert studio by Russia's best jazz musicians. Anatole played there three times during 1997; the resulting show tapes' sound encouraged him to choose nine best tracks and release it on a CD.
The album, called beamingly "Yes", contains Anatole's own music which is pretty hard to describe. Ante omnia, this is not a trad jazz album. Anatole's music definition should contain words "world", "reggae", "rock", "Afro", "fusion", "how African-American jazz had influenced Russian music" etc., and there are yet much elements to describe. Listen to the album's only standard - Anatole's arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Bloomdido". Yes, you can recognize the theme, but it's played like a funny mix of a New Orleans march and a rub-a-dub song with heavy driving bass line (Anton Revnyuk) and drums (Dmitri Sevastianov). Or listen to "To Burn But Not On Fire" which in fact sounds like a reggae sung by a nostalgic Russian in a Texas roadhouse...

Cyril Moshkov, member of Moscow Jazz Journalists association

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