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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CD Review: Zhenya Strigalev – Never Group

Zhenya Strigalev (alto saxophone), Tim Lefebvre (bass) & Eric Harland (drums) + Bruno Liberda (electronics), John Escreet (keyboards), Alex Bonney (trumpet), Matt Penman (double bass) & Charles Armstrong (voice intro)
(Review by Russell)
This new release from Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings, featuring altoist Zhenya  Strigalev’s Never Group, adds another dimension to the enterprising bassist’s burgeoning catalogue. The core trio – Strigalev, bassist Tim Lefebvre and Eric Harland (drums) – has a story to tell. Twenty tracks, spanning seventy-four minutes, are rooted in post-jazz drum and bass grooves navigating a post-industrial electronica landscape.
The Never Group’s groove merchants are the brilliant Tim Lefebvre and Eric Harland. Of the twenty numbers, seven are written by the trio. Strigalev’s linear solos develop out of a series of ferocious intros laid down by his band mates. Several numbers are tagged ‘coda 1’, ‘coda 2’ and so on, some with fade-outs. The sense of it is that material was abundant, the tape machine was running and the musicians played and kept on playing. Track one is a spoken introduction by Charles Armstrong, from track two – Bio Active – the musicians take centre stage. Seven minutes of urgent, dynamic playing, Bio Active, is, perhaps, the album’s creative peak.   
Bruno Liberda’s electronics contribute significantly to the CD’s sound, Plastiksackerl im Wind and Heimwehharfe being two examples of his craft while other contributors have a less prominent, but no less effective, part to play. John Escreet (keyboards) convincingly conjures the sound of a church organ on Are You Manageable? Alex Bonney plays a little trumpet (in additional to mixing and editing duties) and double bassist Matt Penman is in there somewhere.
Russell.
Zhenya Strigalev’s CD Never Group is released on Friday 1 April on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings (WR4685).       

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