VLADIMIR CHEKASIN

Avant-Garde Jazz / Progressive Big Band / Third Stream / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Fusion / Eclectic Fusion • Russia
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Vladimir Chekasin is a cornerstone figure in Lithuanian modern jazz, a master of various reed instruments, enriching his instrumental arsenal with keyboards, voice, elements of theatre, and anything what is necessary for his unique, large-scale polystylistic performances. He is also composer, theatre and cinema director, and exceptional teacher. Vladimir Chekasin was born in Ekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk),Russia in 1947. From the age of six, he studied violin and piano, later clarinet and saxophone. He is a graduate of the Ekaterinburg Music Academy.

In 1971 Vladimir Chekasin made his international debut participating at the international competition of young musicians in Prague, where he received First Prize and subsequently recorded an album "Setkani" (A Meeting) with Rudolf Dašek, Klaus Koch, Imre Mozi and Laco Tropp. Incidentally, it was the first international record ever with participation of a jazz musician from the Soviet Union.

In the same year Vladimir Chekasin moved to Lithuania and started playing
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VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Discography

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN albums / top albums

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Exercises (with Sergey Kuryokhin/ Boris Grebenshchikov) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Exercises (with Sergey Kuryokhin/ Boris Grebenshchikov)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1983
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Nostalgia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nostalgia
Avant-Garde Jazz 1984
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Concerto for Voice and Orchestra (with Konstantin Petrosyan and Datevik Oganesyan) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Concerto for Voice and Orchestra (with Konstantin Petrosyan and Datevik Oganesyan)
Third Stream 1986
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN The Memoirs / Воспоминания album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Memoirs / Воспоминания
Fusion 1986
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Nomen Nescio / Некое Лицо album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Nomen Nescio / Некое Лицо
Avant-Garde Jazz 1987
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Vladimir Chekasin - Mario Schiano - Vladimir Tarasov - Sebi Tramontana : Red & Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vladimir Chekasin - Mario Schiano - Vladimir Tarasov - Sebi Tramontana : Red & Blue
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Taxi Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Taxi Blues
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1990
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Bolero -2 / Болеро-2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bolero -2 / Болеро-2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Snow Children Meets Vladimir Chekasin – Christmas Rhapsody album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Snow Children Meets Vladimir Chekasin – Christmas Rhapsody
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Eurosib International Jazz Orchestra / Vladimir Chekasin : Concerto Fist Worship album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eurosib International Jazz Orchestra / Vladimir Chekasin : Concerto Fist Worship
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN EPs & splits

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN live albums

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN The Vladimir Chekasin Big Band :  New Vitality album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Vladimir Chekasin Big Band : New Vitality
Progressive Big Band 1986
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Is This Possible? (Lithuanian Conservatoire Jazz Orchestra directed by Vladimir Chekasin) album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Is This Possible? (Lithuanian Conservatoire Jazz Orchestra directed by Vladimir Chekasin)
Progressive Big Band 1987
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Anti-Show album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anti-Show
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Second Siberian Concert album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Second Siberian Concert
Eclectic Fusion 1994

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VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Reviews

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Second Siberian Concert

Live album · 1994 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Sax player/multi-instrumentalist Vladimir Chekasin was my very first experience listening jazz live. As undergraduate university student in 1981 or 1982 I felt some initial interest to jazz even if my strong prerogatives were Black Sabbath (going) and The Stranglers(coming). I lived in same town with famous free jazz Ganelin trio and when trio's member announced his solo concert in my university Aula I just decided to give the jazz a chance.

This evening changed my life, not less.It looked there were even no air to breath in overcrowded old building's hall with high wooden doors and white columns. Students and younger professors waited for something... unexpected. And it happened - Chekasin played quite emotive solo gig using circular breathing techniques, simultaneously playing of two saxophones and free improvisation against strange electronic device, kind of early analogue modulator/synthesizer. Fortunately for newcomers as I was, Chekasin's music was far from formal, it contained lot ot tunes snippets, emotive soloing and strange rhythms what made it surprisingly accessible.

At the end of the night I didn't realize (as many others sitting and standing near me in a hall) what it was - we just evidenced highest class musical shamanism session we had never saw in our lives. From that day I started visiting jazz concerts more often but it still took two decades to start listening jazz recordings.

"Second Siberian Concert" is recorded just a few years later in Novosibirsk - largest Siberian academic city, and till now it stays a last recording evidence of Chekasin musicianship as leader. He still plays time to time but concentrates mostly on jazz education in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and leading excellent student's Big Band.

The quartet recorded contains of Chekasin, playing plenty of reeds (obviously using simultaneously playing techniques since there are no other reeds player on board and one can hear different reeds played at the same time),analogue synth and occasionally piano; Romania-born Vilnius-based keyboardist Oleg Molokoedov (piano,analogue keys,synth) and local rhythm section - bassist Sergey Panasenko and drummer Sergey Belichenko.

The year is 1985 and synthesizers (especially in jazz, and more precise - in Soviet jazz!) still look like extreme modernism so no strange whole music is heavily overloaded with their sounds. Synths are still analogue so their sound doesn't attack listener's nerves as later time plastic electronics but still great Chekasin's sax soloing and two-reeds interplay too often disappears without significant traces in that wall of synth sounds.

Three compositions (two long and one - two-minute short) are mostly improvised but contain plenty of composed sources incl. popular swing tunes,themes from ballet,Slavic folklore elements and circus marches. Sound quality is only average though.

Released in 1994 only, after Soviet Union finished existing, this album has been never well known or widely distributed. Now available on bandcamp as digital download, it represents nice opportunity to hear one of the most interesting innovative artist of the region. Not a best artist's work for sure, it still is a valuable evidence in Chekasin's far not so umerous discography.

VLADIMIR CHEKASIN Nomen Nescio / Некое Лицо

Album · 1987 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Jazz is music of freedom, free jazz - even more so.You will hardly find jazz traditions in totalitarian systems as North Korea (oppositely same nation has high class musicians and fast growing jazz society in South Korea). Few years ago it happened to me to visit live gig of Chinese jazz band - very amateurish, they tried to imitate jazz techniques but obviously missed one important thing - freedom of improvisation.

Still three decades ago last totalitarian empire on territory of Europe and Central Asia was alive and kicking and term "Soviet jazz" sounded as bad joke. There still existed relatively free region on occupied lands of Baltic States,so during few decades almost all most innovative Soviet Union musicians found themselves living there. Three emigrants from Russia founded in Vilnius the formation which known US musicologist Piero Scaruffi called "the greatest ensemble of free-jazz in continental Europe" - Ganelin Trio.I was lucky enough to be born and grew up in same town and same time where and when banned Soviet free jazz found its home.Being a University student I saw live jazz gig for the first time in my life - it blew my mind away! In the world where radio on TV stations all were under full KGB control, music we heard around was mostly patriotic Soviet songs and faceless over-optimistic pop-music. For sure I already found out how to get underground copies of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but the price of each such contraband album was equal to average Soviet worker monthly wage, so everyone having few albums was in fact a rich man. Jazz wasn't under such strict political ban as rock music because of its abstract (read - difficult accessible for workers and farmers) nature but generally was tagged as "product of rotting capitalism" in official propaganda. As a result the country with population of 350 million had only one faculty where one could be trained as jazz musician - far away from Moscow and big cities, in small Lithuanian seaside town of Klaipeda.

In such atmosphere each free jazz concert was a Shamanic act - listeners felt like sect members participating on secret mess.My first live jazz concert was Ganelin Trio's member Vladimir Chekasin solo gig in small University Aula. He played two saxophones simultaneously against electronic loops and sounds modulator.At the end of the gig I was newborn jazz sectarian.

Ganelin Trio (with pianist Viacheslav Ganelin,reeds player Vladimir Chekasin and drummer Vladimir Tarasov) existed just few years, Jewish-origin Ganelin at first possibility emigrated from Soviet Union to Israel (where later re-united the band but with different line-up).Two other members stayed in Vilnius where they live now (and I regularly see them on different musical events). Vladimir Chekasin solo album "Nomen Nescio" was released same year when Ganelin left the country.Chekasin plays with one of strongest possible line-up of the time - pianist Oleg Molokojedov (Ganelin Trio members regular collaborator), Russian keyboards and electronic effects genius Sergey Kuryochin and relatively less known drummer Sergey Belichenko. Chekasin reed's sound is slightly similar to latest Roland Rahsaan Kirk's on this album. Two long free form compositions - free saxophone/flute improvisations over layers of synthesizers sound waves and electronic noises.Being of improvisational nature, music is far not chaotic, but more similar to modern classical avant-garde. Lot of melodic elements make the music sounds easy accessible and you need to return to this recordings again and again just to find out how many different layers are secretly placed under the surface.Real post free-jazz masterpiece, this album had very limited audience in past and was almost forgotten with time.True evidence of strange time in strange place - and best possible monument for true art.

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