Closed Mountains 2000

Christophe Rocher, Jean Quillivic, Roman Ros, Yuri Yaremtchuk
Closed Mountains 2000
(CD Landy Star Music/Jazzland, LS-012-2000/J07)

1. Stoetatacouil (Closed Mountains)
2. Green Horse (Roman Ros)
3. Cartoon (Closed Mountains)
4. Lips Without Lips (Christophe Rocher/Yuri Yaremtchuk)
5. Veni Sanctus Spiritus (Arr. Jean Quillivic)
6. It’s Necessary To Begin A New Story (Closed Mountains)
7. Closed Mountains One (Closed Mountains)
8. Belle Aphone (Jean Quillivic)
9. Two Men For Saxes (Jean Quillivic/Yuri Yaremtchuk)
10. Memory (Yuri Yaremtchuk)

Christophe Rocher – cl, bcl
Jean Quillivic – ss, as, ts, bars
Roman Ros – v, guimbarde
Yuri Yaremtchuk – bcl, ss, ts

2, 7 and 10 recorded December, 3 and 4, 1999 in Brest (France) by Cecil Coulomb and Renaud Millet Lacombe. 3-6, 8 and 9 recorded December, 6 and 9, 1999 in Studio Too (St. Brieu) by Pierre Louis Carsint. Cover design of Valeri Silaev and Leonid Tishkov. Executive producer: Michail Mitropolski.


Magazine “Audio Video Salon” Issue # 1, January, 2001

It is curious that in the “Russian series” there should appear an album that has no single Russian performer on it, and moreover the music on it has as much relation to the Russian theme as abstract painting to Peredvizhnik school.

The idea and the initiative to carry out the project the “Closed Mountains” belong to the saxophonist Yuri Yaremtchuk, who is also a painter and whose painting was used for the album cover. The meaning of the project’s name becomes more or less clear if you keep in mind that two musicians in this quartet – Yaremhuk himself and the violin player Roman Ros come from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, while the other two – saxophonist Jean Quillivic and clarinet player Christophe Rocher are from the French province of Brittany. It makes no doubt that the Bretons differ from the French as strongly as the inhabitants of the Carpathians from the Kievites. At the same time it makes no difficulty for them to find common language: all of a sudden choral variations “Veni Sanctus Spiritus” fit in perfectly amidst the extreme avant-garde. By the absence of a rhythm section with stylistic fluctuations from a musical stream of consciousness (which does not hint at jazz swing) to funk (“Green Horse”) and folk song (“Belle Aphone”) the “Closed Mountains” remind of the Moscow trio “TRI-O.” If this comparison does not tell you much, start from the end with the composition by Yuri Yaremtchuk under the meaningful title “Memory.” You will discover that you like this music.

One thing deserves criticism: although the album’s design is better than of a typical product in the “Russian series”, still English version of the text is ridiculously poor, some names are transcribed into Russian so that you can hardly guess who’s behind those names. On top of everything Switzerland is confused with Sweden. While there is enough information about each of the four musicians, there’s no a single word about the very project.

If it were not for these upsetting flaws, the “Closed Mountains” could be named the best Russian (?) album of the year in the category “new jazz.”

Dmitriy Ukhov

Translated by Sofia Skachko.

Magazine “Play”, Issue #4, April 2001

It is noteworthy that a completely foreign project appeared in the “Russian series” of a Moscow label: its team consists of two French and two Ukrainian musicians from Lviv. This is another proof that new art does not recognize any limits.

New jazz music has ceased to be new long ago, it’s at least 40 years old now. That is why the emergence of new fresh voices and unique ideas becomes especially important.

The “Closed Mountains” are the Carpathians, almost a “Lost World” for the French. The exotic Hutsul tunes, medieval vertical lines, broken drawings of free play, the atmosphere of Breton free jazz, timbre twists of the interplay between close musical instruments create a mixture, which may smack of speculativeness, but on the other hand, marked by talent and taste may result in something stupendous. In this case there was enough talent and taste, while the absence of the rhythm section elements contributed to a positive effect.

In terms of genre this album embraces the whole range from the spontaneous dialogues of instruments to a choral tutti in the tradition of the World Saxophone Quartet.

Roman Ros’s violin serves as the ethnic base, Yuri Yaremtchuk ensures form-building element, while the French musicians discover new potential in the team of new partners from the unknown part of Europe.

However, the Bretons may be incredulous why the excellent saxophonist from Lviv, who has a huge experience of performing with influential new jazz stars, has to record his project not in the closer among the two Brests and produce it in Moscow. Althought, maybe that’s the point?

Translated by Sofia Skachko.


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