Two Chevrons Apart
The internationally acclaimed bassist and composer releases his first album as leader with Basho Records, emphasising rich harmony, powerful melodic lines and a playful sense of humour.
‘In this music, I feel that jazz is alive, healthy and moving forward in the 21st Century’ – Bob James, Grammy winning pianist
Born in Moscow, bassist and composer Yuri Goloubev has made the transition between an acclaimed classical music career and successful jazz performance with unusual fluidity and authority. Goloubev has featured on over 100 recordings and is in high demand as a musician internationally. ‘Two Chevrons Apart’ features a quartet with Tim Garland, John Turville and Asaf Sirkis and is his first release as leader for Basho Records (he also featured on pianist Gwilym Simcock’s Blues Vignette album).
When composing material for this project, Goloubev had a quartet with soprano saxophone in mind from the outset, the sound of the soprano providing the most suitable vehicle for the melodic content of the music. He sought to create a selection of pieces that worked together stylistically, emphasising compositional logic, strong melodic lines and intricate, rich harmony. The melodic content is particularly important to Goloubev, with this album offering lingering and effective melodic lines alongside complex harmony and form, making the music accessible without compromise or simplification.
The ensemble on ‘Two Chevrons Apart’ features acclaimed saxophonist Tim Garland and percussionist Asaf Sirkis, two musicians with whom Goloubev has frequently collaborated. Through the recording process, Goloubev also developed a more recent working relationship with pianist John Turville. Goloubev has described the band as a unit of musicians with whom he feels completely comfortable and that, together, they are able to play in a more ‘exploratory’ way. Given the strength of the musical interactions, the ensemble is flexible and Goloubev plans to perform the music in either a trio or quartet setting.
‘Two Chevrons Apart’ also foregrounds Goloubev’s mischievous sense of humour, love of wordplay and fondness for comic imagery, as implied in the album title (an ironic response to the idea of being ‘oceans apart’) and the wryly named ‘Dead End Date’. The piece ‘Cemetery Symmetry’ parodies image conscious musicians. ‘Sweet Nothings’ bounds with an agile playfulness and a march rhythm on the drums.
Goloubev does not consider his own work as a bandleader to have resulted in ‘bass-lead’ music. Instead, all band members fulfil equal roles. Goloubev seeks to distinguish between the accompanying and solo roles of the bass, accompanying in relatively conventional ways but seeking to emulate the phrasing of a hypothetical wind instrument or the piano when soloing, eschewing familiar bass ‘licks’ or figures that fall more easily under the fingers. Goloubev’s music draws both from his experience as an improvising jazz musician and from his classical background, with the piece Beethoven and Schubert: Friends?… inspired by two sonatas (Beethoven – C minor piano sonata #8 Op 13 and Schubert – Arpeggione Sonata D821). The combination of melodic and harmonic depth with playfulness should have wide appeal with audiences.