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Moscow Jazz Journalists Association

Moscow, May 19, 2000

by Cyril Moshkow

GREETINGS from Howard Mandel (JJA, New York)
Arkady Shilkloper (left) listens to his acheivement listingThe Moscow Jazz Journalists Association presented the JazzEar awards to Russia's leading jazz artists on May 19. The third annual awards ceremony, held at the Nostalgie Club in downtown Moscow, presented awards in seven categories:

Man of the Year: French horn player Arkady Shilkloper, a former member of Bolshoi Orchestra and Moscow Philharmonic, who turned to jazz in the mid'80s, playing both avant-garde and mainstream. Arkady's JazzEar is his second (he also was the last year's winner).

l-r: Alex Rostotsky; Nick Kozaderov (Boheme); Vladimir DanilinAlbum of the Year: Once I loved (Boheme Music), featuring three major Russian soloists - accordion player Vladimir Danilin, 55; guitarist Alexey Kuznetsov, 59; and e-bass player Alex Rostotsky, 44, who also produced this record for Boheme Music. More info on the album

Hope of the Year: St.Petersburg guitar player Gasan Bagirov, 33, member of a duo with Northern Capital's most popular jazzman, violinist David Goloshokin, and an excellent soloist in his own right.

Master of the Year: Guerman Lukianov, 64, flugelhorn virtuoso and Russian jazz pioneering composer, whose KADANS band was undoubtedly the leading force in Soviet jazz of 80's. Last year he suddenly appeared after a five-years period of inactivity, with an innovative sextet called Kadans Millenium.
Guerman Lukianov receives his Ear cashInfo on Mr.Lukianov is currently available only in Russian.

Venue of the Year: Le Club, jazz club in Moscow, located inside the famous Taganka Theatre. Russia's most popular and probably the best sax player Igor Butman runs this club; except of his own big band which plays here every Monday night, last year Le Club hosted Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Greg Abate, dozens of major Russian artists etc.

Event of the Year: Jazz Province '99, a moving jazz festival founded by the famous piano player Leonid Vintskevich and supported by Russian Culture Foundation. Last June, the Jazz Province toured 12 major cities in central Russia. Moscow, the Federation's capital, was included but is not the festival's hometown: Jazz Province's base is Kursk, a city with the population of 600,000, located in the middle of Russia's Great Plains (find Moscow on any map: it's about 350 miles to the south). Jazz Province 2000 continues right now.

'This Is Impossible' of the Year: The Second Approach Project, Moscow-based band led by composer and piano player Andrey Razin. This really is impossible: an off-format, multi-style, inter-cultural band, which members are: an Ukraine-born Jewish pianist (the leader); a Ukraine-born Gypsy singer (Tatyana Komova); a Siberian-born jazz bass player (Igor Ivanushkin)! They always state that they are strictly anti-commercial, but their performances are very successful and their recent CD, "Pierrot" (Boheme Music) sells OK. Now they added a sax player to their project staff - according to their tradition, Oleg Kireyev is not a Muscovite, but a Tatar born in Ufah, the capital of the national autonomy of Bashkortostan. But the new album, "Ex Tempore", which is currently scheduled to appear on a German label, was recorded with another sax player - Mike Ellis, a New York-based... you got the idea, he is half Russian.

Andrey Razin keeping Russian jazz magazinesNo surprises that Andrey Razin, leader of The Second Approach Project, got another nomination: Musician Deserved A Wider Recognition. He really deserved it as a pianist.

Traditionally, JazzEar experts acknowledge their worst Disappointment of the Year. In 1999, this became jazz concert series in Moscow Conservatory - in 1999 of remarkably poor quality. First show of a much higher quality, featuring Americans Jimmy Cobb on drums and Valery Ponomarev on trumpet, took place there one month later than 1999 ended.

JazzEar Awards have non-commercial status but are being materialized, aside from its yellow diplomas (see picture), in a certain sum of money. In last two years, the sum was equal to one copeck (0.01 ruble, or 0.035 U.S. cent according to last year exchange rates). But this year, after a short discussion, the Association decided to seriously increase the sum - now it's one U.S. cent (0.28 ruble, according to today's exchange rates).

Cyril Moshkow. Photos by Pavel Korbut

2000, Moscow Jazz Journalists Association

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