Yuri Goloubev, Two Chevrons Apart

‘’Well I'm not really worried about this,/But can some one please answer me this/Apart from on commentary, where else on earth/Can you hear the word 'aplomb' being used?’’ ‘Two Chevrons Apart’ is not keeping a Half Man Half Biscuit homage in mind …

Published: 8 Feb 2020. Updated: 6 months.

‘’Well I'm not really worried about this,/But can some one please answer me this/Apart from on commentary, where else on earth/Can you hear the word 'aplomb' being used?’’

Two Chevrons Apart’ is not keeping a Half Man Half Biscuit homage in mind although where Moscow-born bassist Yuri Goloubev is around you'd swear that you could hear however impossibly a certain aplomb.

How encouraging let me begin by noting after that unavoidable if irrelevant diversion it is that Basho are back with another nowadays fairly rare record of theirs in a climate when small labels are struggling to retain a physical presence in the wake of the dominance of streaming and digital-only releases.

The London label’s output is not huge nowadays and their roster small. Yet they always put time and talent into what they are doing and have put out some fine records over the years. This new one to be released in April stands up tall with their finest.

Yuri Goloubev is fortunate to be both a top classical and jazz player although mostly he is known for his jazz work and associations particularly with piano great Gwilym Simcock.

Last time I caught him live was last summer when he was playing with Simcock at Ronnie Scott’s on that occasion also with the ex-Orient House Ensemble drummer Asaf Sirkis who is here on Two Chevrons Apart along with the fine John Taylor-influenced pianist John Turville and the erstwhile Chick Corea saxophonist Tim Garland who Goloubev also plays with in the Weather Walker trio.

Garland is on blistering form on soprano on opener ‘Beethoven and Schubert: Friends…?’ the tune alluding to Beethoven’s C minor piano sonata and Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata shaped by lyrically swinging swiftly twisting and turning modern jazz that sits alongside some of Chick Corea's experiments in form.

All eight tunes on the album are by Goloubev and the album was recorded at one of Europe’s top studios, Artesuono, in Italy with the great engineer Stefano Amerio at the console. The sound is as good as you’d expect it to be certainly in terms of life and lack of clinical sterility that you otherwise find all too often on some releases in this idiom.

The writing is even better than the album's handsome sound. Really this is the first reason that you should hear and get this record when it comes out. Goloubev should be thought of as much as a composer as a bassist from what we have here and the way he writes allows a lot of space for each player, the detailed lines are full of passion and contain a sense of discovery and direction.

Listening to each tune it is impossible to second-guess where the tune will end up because each piece has a sense of fresh undertaking that draws you close and involves you.

At the centre of the sound Goloubev manages to inject a good deal of propulsion to the onward motion of the sound and you will soon realise after a few listens how energy laden all the tunes are here without his method being at all showy. (I suppose in this regard Goloubev follows on in a line from Miroslav Vitouš' influential style.) Garland chooses soprano mostly, opting for tenor on a few tracks. The very humane interpretation that his timbral qualities on soprano contribute to the record lend it warmth and personality that enhance the listening experience throughout. SG

To be released on 17 April

Tags: Album reviews

Pulled by Magnets, Rose Golden Doorways, Tak:til

One of the challenges facing any band is to sound like nothing that has gone before. Few succeed in that aspiration should they even be conscious of it. Pulled by Magnets, however, do. Sometimes a trio can sound very small indeed. This trio, …

Published: 8 Feb 2020. Updated: 6 months.

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One of the challenges facing any band is to sound like nothing that has gone before. Few succeed in that aspiration should they even be conscious of it. Pulled by Magnets, however, do.

Sometimes a trio can sound very small indeed. This trio, however, have a huge sound constructed out of a small number of raw ingredients. They do not play a million notes. And yet there is a titanic epic sense to Rose Golden Doorways.

It does not sound conventional and certain jazz fans will not be able to relate at all to what Seb Rochford on drums, Neil Charles on bass guitar touring with Anthony Braxton recently and Rochford's long time Polar Bear colleague saxophonist Pete Wareham are doing. Some might even claim it is not even jazz. While that is a non-subject or should be unless you indulge a deranged interest in tilting at windmills the record ruggedly does not neatly fit into any genre which again is why it works so convincingly.

There is a mystery in play and not just the cryptic cuneiform-like symbols that adorn the artwork. More deeply the tunes are built on long, quite hypnotic notes, thunderous drums and cavern deep bass. Enhanced by electronics and the deep minings that have hauled up precious gems from the deep, some tracks (for instance 'Cold Regime People Die') have an ominous Gothic Hammer Horror-esque quality to them

This dungeons and dragons type atmosphere delivers for sure a doom-laden sense to the quasi-apocalyptic sound that the three have laboratory fashioned. And that probabably makes sense to the sort of eclectic jazz fan who likes the full-on dronery of Sunn O))).

Wareham has his vulnerabilities that he likes to communicate on tracks such as 'Those Among Us' and he manages to contour his contributions from an ache and blistering agony towards a quiet tenderness that adds nuance and subtlety.

Rochford cuts a remarkably buddha-like presence even when playing the fuck out of his kit. He manages to fashion a quiet mantra out of mood and shape and when I saw the band live in a church in Bethnal Green last year he even delivered some gnomic verse which frankly came as a bolt from the blue. Playing some of the tunes from the album that night they blew me away. They do so all over again on this remarkable recording, a sound once heard, never forgotten and the beginning of a remarkable new chapter that further illuminates the imagination and protean ideas of Rochford, one of today's most insightful drummer-composers working anywhere on the globe. SG

Neil Charles, above left, Pete Wareham, Seb Rochford. Photo: Bandcamp