Konstantin Vassiliev:The Jazz Story
Updated: Apr 17
The Jazz Story
Les Productions D’Oz: 10 pages
Reviewed 9th June 2019
This Siberian composer’s music doesn’t come my way very often, but when it does it offers something quite different from the usual. This latest one – movement work has an enlightening performance by the composer on YouTube, so look it out if you are interested.
The opening Improvvisato section sets the scene admirably with its almost free – timed runs incorporating harmonics, bent notes, and advanced harmonies built around multiple time signatures .This then leads seamlessly into a Piu Mosso Ritmico where chords of fourths and diminished fifths intersperse with a jumpy melody line that goes straight into the main Allegro section which uses variations on the same harmonic material. Everything leaps around the page from top to bottom in a constant flow that takes considerable playing to get the effect found in the composer’s recording .There is then a Moderato Lirico section where the difficulty factor is reduced somewhat (but not the harmonic style, which remains almost atonal jazz like in style) before the original theme and tempo return followed by a frenetic strumming section that leads directly to the coda that consists of a sixteenth note run down to the bottom E, a couple of four notes chords based on the interval of a fourth , a note bend on a top A and a final pair of sforzando chords.
This is a tougher piece to get your hands around than you might think, as the harmonies are never just ordinary majors or minors, but this composer’s music is always worth looking at.