100 years of Russian jazz music history in one groundbreaking documentary movie
Jazz music arrived in Russia on October 1, 1922. We tell the story of what happened next, and what is happening now.
The 114-min. long film, premiered in Russia on October 15, 2022, covers one hundred years of the history of Russian jazz scene, counted from October 1, 1922, the historically documented date of the first-ever jazz concert in Moscow. The story is told by both Russian jazz artists and Russian actors, and reinforced by dozens of interviews with prominent jazz musicians and jazz historians, a variety of priceless historic video footage and sound recording clips, and hundreds of archival photographs.
We filmed 53 interviews with jazz musicians and jazz historians in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Arkhangelsk, Tel Aviv, and New York City during one year, September 2021 to September 2022. We used clips from 90 music tracks: only three originals were recorded for the film, the rest were historic and contemporary Russian jazz recordings made from the 1920s to the 2020s. The historic and contemporary video footage was used extensively, from the 1932 pioneering footage of a Russian jazz band and dozens of film and TV excerpts from the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, to the 21st century music videos.
One of those who tell the story of the turbulent Soviet and Russian jazz history in the film is saxophonist Igor Butman, who also originated the idea of the movie and produced it.
Each one of the dozens of speakers in the movie is telling his or her own part of the story: saxophonist Alexei Kozlov, multi-instrumentalist David Goloschokin, bandleader/pianist Anatoly Kroll, guitarist Alexei Kuznetsov, bandleader/pianist Boris Frumkin, singer Larisa Dolina, pianist Daniil Kramer, trumpeters Valery Ponomarev and Alex Sipiagin, and numerous others, not omitting the famed American bandleader Wynton Marsalis who has also had his say about Russian jazz.
Jazz historians who narrate important parts of the Russian jazz history are the movie’s screenwriter Cyril Moshkow, the 90-years-old St. Petersburg-based doyen of Russian jazz critique Vladimir Feyertag, and others.
Other parts of the story are narrated by prominent Russian actors, such as Viktor Sukhorukov, Alexey Guskov, Anya Chipovskaya, Victor Dobronravov, and Evgeny Mironov.
- Idea by Igor Butman
- Producers: Igor Butman, Yulia Hmelevskaya
- Directed by Alexander Bryntsev
- Written by Cyril Moshkow
- Edited by Alexander Bryntsev
- Narrated by Igor Butman, Viktor Sukhorukov, Cyril Moshkow, Alexei Guskov, Victor Dobronravov, Anya Chipovskaya, Evgeny Mironov
In memory of Alexei Batashev, the first historiographer of Russian jazz (1934–2021)
© Igor Butman Fund, 2022
Screen time: 114 minutes
- Filmed by: Irina Uralskaya (DoP), Anatoly Petriga (DoP), Sergei Petriga, Konstantin Bolychevtsev, Igor Gorelik (Israel), Alexei Postnikov (USA)
- Sound by: Viktor Mors
- Sound recording by: Oleg Kozhevin, Anton Migur, Yulia Sachkova, Dmitry Morozov, Nikolai Galaktionov
- Film colorist: Anatoly Petriga
- Re-recording mixer: Viktor Mors
- Sound effects: Vladimir Litrovnik
- Music editor: Cyril Moshkow
- Film title idea by Alexander Bryntsev
- Title animation: ODOBRINO AGENCY (German Litvinov, Narek Engibaryan, Evgeny Zaitsev, Maxim Mikhalyov, Ivan Dobrin)
- Historical photo editing: Andrei Solovyov
- Interviews: Cyril Moshkow
- Interview transcription: Natalia Kravchenko
- Teleprompter operators: Nikolai Karasyov, Nikolai Belyaev
- Production assistant: Natalia Kravchenko
- Transportation: Alexander Grigorov