Like many others in modern music, The Second Approach project emerged rather spontaneously. All participants of the project previously had some reputation in modern music, but at "the second approach" their faces are not that well discernible. Andrey Razin is a Moscow classical-trained pianist and composer who already made a name in different styles of contemporary classical music and appeared previously on the jazz scene, too - and his appearances always bore a mark of strong individuality. He met vocalist Tatyana Komova quite occasionally in 1994, when the famous Gypsy ensemble, the Romen duo, where Tatyana performed for more than 10 years, urgently needed a high class pianist for the recording of a new CD. It turned out that Tatyana herself came out of a jazz community and while working in Romen, touring all over the world, releasing CDs and receiving honors, she never lost her interest in jazz, feeling more and more inclined to its ethnic and avant-garde styles. Moreover their tastes in music were very similar. Their next joint work was a recording in 1996 of "The Second Approach" CD, containing the piano-and-vocal versions of the well-known classical pieces. The CD's name was inherited by Andrey Razin's new project.
The next participant was a bass player called Igor Ivanushkin with his impressive experience of playing jazz. Andrey Razin and Igor Ivanushkin duo originally appeared on a jazz scene in 1997. Joint performances at several festivals, their original music mixed with original versions of the jazz standards and necessity of the percussion component all had led to the appearance of one more participant, the role of which now is performed in turns by percussionists Vano Avaliani and Valery Alkhasyants. That way the basis was formed necessary for moving to the next stage, which came quite naturally when Tatyana Komova got more active in the new endeavor. At about that time the rehearsals were joined by the wonderful stylist full of original ideas - the trumpet player Vladimir Galaktionov.
Fall of 1998 presented the Moscow, and later St.Petersburg public with a project that is valuable if just for the sole reason of being beyond standard definitions, provoking controversy, huge interest and sympathy. The word "project" is probably the best way to define the joint work of different musicians united by the common aim. Razin does not limits himself with a specific style or trend. In the quintet's music one can find elements of folk, classical and jazz/rock music. Their performances easily find their place both at jazz festivals and modern music forums. Within a matter of several months "the Approach" produced profound music, conceptually and otherwise authored by Andrey Razin.
In 1999 activity of Razin's project left the creative laboratory for the public scene. Concert shows in Moscow and other cities. Recording of "Pierrot" CD on "Boheme Music" label (with the guest appearance of Arkady Shilkloper). Participation in Boheme Jazzz and Alternative-99 festivals, tour of the 6 Russian cities within the framework of Jazz Province Festival, performances at Open Air Festival in Moscow (August) and in Novokuznetsk (September) are all just a fraction of the Project's activities. Part of their performances was joined by Mike Ellis, New York-based sax player who explores Russian jazz scene and his Russian roots extensively. In July, he joined The Approach in the studio to record a joint-venture CD. Autumn-99 was marked by more performances, including "Pierrot" CD release party in Moscow House of Artists, vocal jazz festival Jazz Voices '99 etc.
The new CD, "Second Approach with Mike Ellis - Ex Tempore" is scheduled to appear in Germany in June, 2000. In January, 2000, another musician joined the project - famous Russian sax player Oleg Kireyev. A new record in the catalogue of a label NRW appears: "Ex Tempore -the Second Approach Featuring Mike Ellis". A newly founded label "Jazzland - Russian Series" is started by the Landy Star Records. The first CD of the new label is devoted to Andrei Razin-Igor Ivanushkin duo's "Something From the Past". The Moscow Jazz Journalists' Association (affiliated to the international JJA) Annual Award goes to the Second Approach (in the "Discovery of the year 1999" category), their CD "Pierrot" matches ¦2; the members of the MJJA also distinguish Andrei Razin (Talents deserving wider recognition) .
The second half of 2000 finds the Second Approach at festivals in Minsk, Orenburg , Yaroslavl and at home in the Moscow Philharmonic Tchaikovski Hall and the Slovakian Culture center.
A "new jazz" celebrity from Lvov (Ukraine)Yuri Yaremchuk comes to Moscow and finds himself in the company of the Second approach, finally joining them in a recording studio. January 2001: the group featuring sax-player Oleg Kireev headlines the first "Jazz Land" Festival at the Central House of Artists in the Russian capital. New album of the Second Approach project, that features American sax player Mike Ellis - "Ex Tempore" - has been released on the German label NRW Jazz (Essen). It has been presented in Germany while the project performed in Stuttgart at the Laboratorium club, as well as took part in Andrey Tarkovsky's retrospective at Kino Museum with "In Memoriam Andrey" program. Upon return from Germany, the project's core trio Andrey Razin (piano), Tatiana Komova (vocals) and Igor Ivanushkin (acoustic bass) took part in Jazz Over Volga festival in Yaroslavl and performed in Ukraine's capital Kiev at the ceremony of local Jazz Center opening. This May, "Ex Tempore" has been re-released in Russia by Landy Star Jazz label. In late May - early June the project traditionally took part at the Jazz Province 2001 festival tour that covered several major cities in central Russia.
Mikhail Mitropolsky, producer of The Second Approach
Razin - Ivanushkin Duo:
Performance at the Hershwin's Memorial festival.
International Jazz Festival in Orenburg.
Concert in Vladimir.
The Second Approach Project:
Concert in the Oval Hall/October
Concert in Jazz-Art Club/November
Concert in "The Modern Play Theatre" of Yelena Kamburova/November
Christmas Festival in St.Petersburg/December
Concert with Vladimir Chekasin in CHA/January, 6
Concert in CHA/January, 9
Recording of "Pierrot" CD with Arkady Shilkloper
Concert in Obninsk
Concert in the Central House RI/ March, 2
Opening Show at Boheme Jazzz Festival in Central House of Artists/April, 13
Concert at Glinka Museum(Boheme Jazzz Festival)/April, 17
Concert at Alternative-99 Festival/May, 21
Recording of CD with Mike Ellis/July
Jazz Province Festival (Kaluga, Bryansk, Oryol, Kursk, Lipetsk, Tambov) June, 14 - 21
Open Air Festival at Hermitage Garden/August, 22
Festival in Novokuznetsk/ Sept.,10
5th International Jazz Vocal Festival, Moscow, Dec., 16
Concert at Oval Hall (Boheme Jazz-2000 Festival) /May, 17
JFC-Jazz Club (St.Petersburg) /May, 20
Jazz Province Festival 2000 (Kursk, Tver) May, June
Jaroslavl Jazz Centre, Oct.23
RADO-Jazz Festival, Minsk, Belorussia, Nov., 17
Jazz Festival "Eurasia-2000", Orenburg, Nov., 19
Tchaikovski Hall, Moscow, Dec., 4
Presentation of New Program in Central House of Artists, Jan., 19
Jazz Festival "JazzLand - Russian Series", Moscow, Feb., 9
Concert in the Central House of Art Workers with Oleg Kireyev, Feb., 14
New album Second Approach project - Mike Ellis - "Ex Tempore" - has been released on the German label NRW Jazz (Essen), Mar.
Project performed in Stuttgart at the Laboratorium club, as well as took part in Andrey Tarkovsky's retrospective at Kino Museum, Mar., 9 - 15
Jazz Festival "Jazz Over Volga", Yaroslavl, Mar., 18
Ceremony of local Jazz Center opening, Kiev (Ukraine), Apr., 29
Jazz Province Festival 2001 (Kursk, Samara, Togliatti, Ulyanovsk) May, June
Andrey Razin (born 1963)
Graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, composer, pianist and arrangements maker, Laureate of the All-Union Festival "Art of the Young", Laureate of the All-Union Competition of Young Composers, Member of the Russian Union of Composers, Andrey Razin was destined for the career of an academic musician, but his creative interests have a much wider range. He produced music scores for the theatrical performances, modern chamber-instrumental and vocal music, jazz compositions, music for TV shows and advertisement videos, symphonic music. Razin participated in Russo-French Festival of Modern Improvisational Music, and other numerous festivals. He toured through Belgium, Hungary and Germany. In the fall of 1997 he performed with Vladimir Chekasin at the Int'l Jazz Festival in Arkhangelsk, and since then he often participates in Chekasin's projects.
Igor Ivanushkin (born 1964)
Musician of modern generation, Igor career of professional musician while still a student of the Gnesins' Music School. Having graduated from the Gnesins' Music Academy, Igor played with "Igor Bril and New Generation" ensemble for 5 years. During the following years he performed with the orchestra and ensemble of Aleksandr Sukhikh (tour in Austria), in Vyacheslav Preobrazhensky jazz band (Pori Jazz Festival, Finland), etc. Within the framework of cultural exchange he performed in Dublin, Ireland. Lately performs with the ensemble of guitarist Konstantin Serov, trumpet player Vladimir Galaktionov, sometimes joining "Kramer Trio" which consists of three Russian jazz stars - George Garanian, Daniel Kramer, and Alexey Kuznetsov. Igor is a participant and laureate of numerous international festivals including ones in Indonesia (1991, 1995), holder of Grand Prix of competition of jazz performers in Bucharest (Romania), laureate of International competition of jazz musicians in Brussels (1990), laureate of the 1st All-Russian competition of young jazz musicians (Rostov-na-Donu).
While still in the music school in Dnepropetrovsk, destiny brought her to the "Gamma" ensemble of Mikhail Tsygutkin, which played the vocal version of instrumental music of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi. The ensemble performed at jazz festivals including one in Moscow. In 1983 she moved to Moscow and having entered the Institute of Culture she started performing the jazz repertoire. At the same time she could be heard on radio and TV performing Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1986 her talent was demanded by the world-famous Gypsy ensemble, The Romen trio, which two years later turned into her duo with Georgy Kvik. Duet Romen was warmly greeted in more than 30 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Israel. Duo's 3 CDs enjoy popular success. In 1995 she was given the title of Meritorious singer of Russia. But her connection to jazz was never broken and now her interests lie in the sphere of modern trends, actively using all world music languages.
Tatyana Komova - Andrey Razin: "Second Approach"
RDM Co. 1999 CDRDM 901216
Andrei Razin & the Second Approach "Pierrot"
Boheme Music 1999 CDBMR 904056
Andrey Razin - Igor Ivanushkin: "Something From The Past"
Landy Star / Jazzland, 2000
Second Approach featuring Mike Ellis: "Ex Tempore"
NRW Jazz NRW 9006, 2001;
Landy Star/Jazzland, LS-028-2001(J18), 2001
From a German press review:
Ws, Second Approach Trio im Lab / Tarkowskij zu Ehren (Stuttgarter Zeitung Nr.65 19 Maerz 2001)
Andrej Razin hat sicher schon auf besseren Fluegeln gespielt. Macht aber nichts. Grossartig, mit welch rhythmischer Praezision er in LPrelude & Toccata" atemberaubende Stakkati haemmerte. Nichts wirkt zu lang, nichts zu kurz, alles ist exakt an seinem Platz. Tatjana Komova klinkt sich mit weltraeumigem Vokalgesang ein, dabei eine seltsame Melancholie verbreitend, die sich an den differenzierten, meist kraftvollen Bassfiguren von Igor Ivanuschkin reibt. Der nach ihm benannte LIvanuschkin Boogie" wird spaeter zum groovenden Duo mit Andrej Razin, einem Feuerwerk aus Versatzstuecken amerikanischer Boogies, gestrichenen Bass-Passagen und Anklaengen an die Melodik russischer Volkslieder.
Second Approach featuring Yuri Yaremtchuk: "Yurassic Period"
Landy Star Jazz 2001 (coming soon)