Monday, November 17, 2008

Melodia Ensemble Part II

Melodia Ensemble - The Works Of Duke Ellington Melodia C60-09261-2 (1978)

More hip Russian big band nuttiness for you - and one that may well have The Duke spinning in his grave! A first rate LP of funky and progressive arrangements of evergreens with real stings in their tails - a real surprising play throughout. All killer... etc.

I'll keep it short and sweet and let the music do the talking.

1) Take The 'A' Train
2) In A Sentimental Mood
3) It Don't Mean A Thing
4) Daydream
5) Cotton Tail

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melodia Ensemble

Melodia Ensemble - Concert In Bombay Melodia C60-14933-34 (1980)

Russian State label Jazzers in India - whatever next!

A killer LP of funky big band grooves. As is so often the case with Eastern European releases in the 70s & 80s, musical trends tended to lag behind their western equivalents, both technologically and stylistically and this release is no different - so don't let the year fool you.

The Jazz Festival in Bombay is one of the most exotic in the world. Unusual combinations of musical cultures from Africa, America, Asia and Europe, the presence of many distinguished masters of jazz and a sensitive and sympathetic audience - all of which made the festival "Jazz Yatra-80" an extremely happy and colourful one.

The brochure issued by the organizers of the festival - National Jazz Committee of India, Secretary General Committee Narayan Dzhaverm quotes Mahatma Gandhi and has become the motto of the festival: "I want the windows and doors of my house to be wide open. I give the cultures of all countries free entry into my house". Bulgaria, Germany, England, Sweden, Poland, USA, Yugoslavia, Finland, the Soviet Union - this is far from a complete list of participating countries in the festival.

So, back to the album... Original compositions, funky basslines, tight jazzy horns and plenty of Moog. Completely delicious and further proof, should you need any, that exceptional music can have the most unusual origins.

1) Holiday
2) Opus N° 2
3) The Old Fort
4) Whirlpool
5) Remembering A Friend
6) Birds In The Window