SECOND APPROACH / Event Space (Leo Records) 2010-10-07

What a fine discovery! This Russian trio (piano, voice, doublebass, and everyone also play percussion) has been together for over 10 years and has released a few records, but they are still little known outside of Russia. A very fine female voice, subtlle and original creative jazz borrowing to Russian and foreign folklores (dabs of India and Arabia). The music doesn’t hesitate to delve into free improvisation, but doesn’t refrain from melodicism either. Beautiful stuff. Makes me think of the Tallin Trio (also released on Leo Records).

SIGNAL TO NOISE

Mark Kerosman, Signal To Noise #54 2009
Trio / Roswell Rudd The Light. SoLyd CD

…Razin's "Jazz, Please" has a nifty swing and sees its composer making like a trumpet vocally, contrasting sharply with Komova's bolder, Jeanne Lee-like trills. Here, Razin alternates between a spare Monk-like approach and peeling off runs like he's at the Keith Jarrett Speedway (with a J.S. Bach pitstop). The Light is remarkable for its conciseness—while there's plenty of "space" there's none of the self-indulgent dribble-plink-squee meandering that plagues some free-improv sessions. Verdict: Rudd is his usual boss self and these Second Approaches deserve to be more widely heard.

Jeff Spevak, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 2009

The music is startling, a fusion of Eastern European folk, classical and whatever style of jazz fits the moment. Pianist Razin, vocalist Tatyana Komova and bassist Igor Ivanushkin are landscape painters, drawing visuals from diverse Russian arts. For cultural influences, Razin lists four classical composers, four writers and three painters. 

Milen Panayotov, Bulgarian national radio, Sofia, "Total Jazz " Magazine, August 2005

If you ask me what impressed me most of all during the festival I will point on the Second Approach trio with no doubt inside. This phenomenon could not be born in Europe or America, and chances are the improvisonal music will follow this way. But maybe not also - because you have to have a great knowledge in the classical music, jazz and folk music of different countries at the same time. 

Vittorio Albani, AllAboutJazz Italien

Gregory Bell, Jazz@Rochester, June 2009

Razin's compositions are wild, inventive "universes" that involve the whole of each of the artists instruments. Razin and Ivanushkin use all of their instruments (at times, I thought Razin was going to climb into the piano and Ivanushkin was banging on his bass so much that he knocked his pickup clean off and tore a number of guts on his bow). Komova's contribution to this is a rich, beautiful voice that she uses, without words, to mimic a trumpet or other instrument, scat, or create voice soundscapes. Both Razin and Ivanushkin also vocalized. At times the interplay of vocalizations with Razin's and Ivanushkin's playing seemed like a conversation, but again without words. Most importantly, their music, although incredibly serious and highly sophisticated, was full of wild, slapstick humor. It made for a wonderful musical experience...

Ron Netsky, CITY NEWSPAPER (Rochester)

Born among many polemics in the 90s, and becoming in a way a ‘supergroup’ thanks to the highest quality of its members and their interpretations, the Second Approach express at the same time the most democratic desire, to give voice to all individual aesthetic senses of its protagonists. A kind of a delicate cocktail mixing impressions, sound researches and the usual mode of thinking ‘non-standard’ music by Mr. Andrej Razin, an eminently attentive pianist, a real and proper master of piano improvisation, Tatiana Komova, a surprising vocalist of the strongest stylistic modernity, and Igor Ivanushkin, currently the prime rhythmic reference of modern russian music. 

Cyrill Moshkow, "Jazz.ru" magazine, editor in chief

The show started with an empty stage, but voices filled the air, chanting in an abstract, but melodic manner. As the bassist, pianist, and vocalist entered, they made it clear that their approaches to their instruments were not going to be the traditional ones. Razin went right for the inside of his piano, plucking the strings. Bassist Igor Ivanushkin picked up his bow, but he too headed to the piano to hit some of the attached chimes. And vocalist Tatyana Komova sang beautifully in her own musical language.
Later Komova used her vocalese to evoke teasing, pleading, arguing, kvetching, grumbling, stuttering, and many more attitudes and emotions. Everything her mouth could do was available to her; breathing into the microphone became a major component of one composition. 
In terms of technique and versatility, Razin was perhaps the most extraordinary pianist I've heard in eight festivals. He had classical chops (and Béla Bartók sensibility) and he used his skills to play percussively, frequently turning the piano into adrum kit of many colors. The show was far from crowded, but John Nugent deserves a lot of credit for introducing this group to an American audience.

Jazz of Four Cultures is a new festival that took place in Lodz, Poland's second largest city, on Dec. 14-16, 2001. The festival represented all four ethnical elements that formed Lodz's cultural heritage - Poles, Russians, Germans and Jews… Pianist Andrei Razin and the Second Approach Project represented Russia. One of Russia's most uncommon jazz collectives, it was created in 1998 to perform its leader's music on the sharp edge between jazz and modern classical music, with rich elements of different ethnic influences, brought to the Project's sound by singer Tatiana Komova who mastered Gypsy folk singing tradition.

Tarek Chafek, Hessische Allgemeine, 5 November, 2001

Sie nennen sich „Second Approach", und schon der Name deutet darauf hin, dass es sich um ein Projekt handelt, um den „zweiten Ansatz", dargeboten von drei Musikern, die alle zwar aus Russland, aber aus unterschiedlichen musikalischen Richtungen kommen. Grandios ist das Spiel des Andrej Razin, der am Fluegel mit seinen praezisen Stakkati ueberzeugte. Voller Melancholie erklingt dazu der weitraeumige Vokalgesang von Tatjana Komova, eine Stimme, die mit ihrer Ausdruckskraft bisweilen an den Gesang von Lisa Gerrard erinnert, der Front-Frau von „Dead Can Dance". Kraftvoll erklingen die Bassfiguren von Igor Ivanuschkin. Der nach ihm benannte „Ivanuschkin Boogie" wird spaeter zu einem groovenden Duo mit Andrei Razin mit Anlehnungen an amerikanische Boogies wie auch an die Melodien russischer Volksweisen.

Yuri Saulski, composer, people's artist of Russia, Moscow Jazz Agency president
Interview to the "Vecherniy Klub"  ("Evening Club") newspaper

...What "The Second Approach" is doing I consider to be folk-jazz. Certainly, that's a conventional term. I mean, the very nature of such games with the audience lies in folklore, but is jazz as well. It's not only what's happening onstage but also what's there going on down in the hall. The more the audience takes part in the happening the more jazz or folk nature it acquires. A great deal in "The Second Approach" art depends on the Razin-Komova duet, I should say. I guess Andrei's avant-gardes and Tatyana's ethnics being interconnected count for much as the whole project is based on this interrelation. In fact, I just like them as a spectator and am interested in as a musician - "The Second Approach" touches my emotions. As for the trio itself, I truly believe that their presence should be obligatory at any festival, especially at polystylistic ones.

Anatoly Kroll, bandleader, composer, people's artist of Russia, "Polny Jazz" #8

I was very much inspired by the trio. It's amazing how our "national" piano jazz is developing at the time. ...Razin's art gives hope when you're thinking of the music you've dedicated your life to. His music is deep, exciting and conceptual. I'm very surprised at the natural way Tatyana Komova took part in the project, as I used to know her sticking to a completely different artistic line.

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