Monday, March 19, 2007

Melodiya - "Labyrinth" {Russia} [1974] (jazz fusion) (kindly submitted by Serhiy)

This is the fifth album by Melodia Jazz Ensemble, 1974, which is said to be the very first jazz-rock effort in the USSR. Played in the big band setup, somewhat archaic and naive in the compositional dimension, the music is dense and busy, and at times twisted to a degree that I never imagined could be borne by the Soviet scene in the early 70s. One may draw a parallel between 'Labyrinth' and what Miles Davis did at approximately the same time, but that would probably be as questionable a comparison as any other I can make in this case.

Melodia Jazz Ensemble was one of the very renowned and successful 'official' jazz bands in the USSR in 70s and 80s. The band released over 20 LP records while active, repertoire ranging from jazz standards to pop music to soundtracks and children tunes. Apart from 'Labyrinth', however, there is only one more record by Melodia that features music entirely composed and arranged by the band members. That album is called 'Concert in Bombay', and will probably be posted one of these days if there's any interest.

Available for downoading is a rip of a vinyl kindly shared by Mr. A. Medvedev, Russia.

Line up:
Georgiy Garanyan - alto saxophone, keyboard
Alexei Zubov - soprano and tenor saxophone
Konstantin Nosov - trumpet
German Petrov - trumpet
Konstantin Baholdin - trombone
Leontiy Chernyak - bass trombone
Boris Frumkin - piano
Alexander Buhgoltz - guitar
Igor Kantuyukov - bass guitar
Alexander Simonovsky - percussion

River of Fire..

(Edit) (Tracklist) 1. Labyrinth / 2. Marina / 3. Lenkoran' / 4. River of fire

Our thanks goes to Serhiy :)


nahavanda said...


Nick said...

PNF continues to introduce some of the most interesting music many of us have ever heard. You guys are amazing. Thanks for your dedication to expanding musical horizons.

buck said...

very nice one thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nahavanda and Serhiy. More jazz than rock but a very nice post. Swinging vodka ... bring me another galon he he. André

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot for this great album! How about Arsenal- Created With Their Own Hands, In Spe or Gunesh Ensamble. Any chances to hear them in your blog?

Serhiy said...

All of those can (and probably will) be posted. Stay tuned with PNF!

Anonymous said...

God bless you, people!
I've been searchin for The Labyrinth so long -- it's straight from the very green years...
Thanks a lot!


illlich said...

I was in a record store in Boston, and flipped through the box marked "Russian", didn't see anything of interest, guy next to me flipped through and found this LP (which I had somehow missed), got Reed (the store owner) to play it-- insane, the bit we heard reminded me of Zappa: weird arrangements, fuzzed-out guitar, an odd take on jazz-fusion. I'd been looking for this since, even tried to get a DJ in Russia to track me down a copy, to no avail. Thanks for posting it here.

Post a Comment