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Evgeny Kozlovsky
(Alexey Kozlov. The Mountains of Kimeria)

Once in the Disc store in Leninsky avenue (I wonder how long we are going to walk along Leninsky? Can you imagine an avenue called after Hitler in Berlin or after Mussolini in Rome?) an importunate middleman managed to palm off some strange CD on me. Frankly speaking the price was ridiculously low. Having no idea of the music recorded on it I bought the disc. Indeed it wasn't the price that tempted me, but the name of Alexey Kozlov. The disc was called The Mountains of Kimeria, and this was an advantage as well: though I prefer the sub-tropics of the Southern Coast, my soul has certainly got attached to the south-east of the peninsula with its Sudac, reminding of the movie-scenery, with teasing Karadag, provoking story-making, with the Klementiev Mountain carved with caves and being the starting-spot for sail-planes and hand-gliders, with Feodosia in the mist, and either Liss or Poket, described in the fairy novels by Alexander Green, with Old Crimea where peculiar prepared foods are produced and the Red Square of its own exists, with Voloshin's house and his profile in the rocks, and the hills burning out to complete yellowness before July. And the yellow-colored photo on a disk cover is quite like a Voloshin's water color.

Аlexey Kozlov... I remember Yury Saulsky with his VIA-66 ("VIA" means band) coming to our extremely cold Omsk. For all the people of Russia (anyway, at least those of them who don't avoid reading somebody's names on book- and disk-covers) Saulsky was the author of the superhit The Black Cat (the lyrics were by Mikhail Tanich).

A big band in luxurious uniforms settled down on the stage, a crystal-chorus a la Miller started sounding, a semicircle of girls round a microphone began singing sweet and daring chords, improvising within the  framework shaped by Saulsky... Then the light lost its brightness, the band went away behind the scenes to smoke, having left behind a double-bass and a percussion instruments players in depth of a stage, and on a forestage, in a circle of multi-colored light, there came a slim person with hollow cheeks, slightly covered with a beard (instant and alive up to now association with Christ of the last days of his earthly life) and with an alto-saxophone in his hands. And he started playing. The big band — it certainly was a jazz, too. As well as disks and records were. And The   Voice of America with Louis (Lewis???) Cannover's program After Midnight. But the real sense of jazz came to me via these fifteen minutes and five improvisations. Via Alexey Kozlov.

Alexey Kozlov - JAZZ.

That winter I attended all the concerts of VIA 66. I knew all their repertoire by heart (I remember some long-legged girl not of the type of the 60s from the Baltic coast, anticipating any Laima Vaikule, - or was it Laima herself? - singing something about "narrow streets of Riga", or just about something narrow and romantic; I even have the feeling, that Alla Pugacheva, yet unknown on those days, was among the singers as well, or maybe she came with some other band?), remembered all the members of the orchestra in the person. But the only person I really waited for was Alexey Kozlov.

As the time passed, I began visiting Moscow more often, saw a lot of jazz-players (in the Valdai cafe, the Youth cafe with magic Sermakashev, джэм session in the Taganka...), and besides jazz-players became less fastidious about going to Siberia (unforgettable concert of German Lukianov with paradoxical флюгельгорном instead of a trumpet in the Under Integral club of Novosibirsk academic town , the concert of Chizh & Co group at the same place), but Alexey Kozlov... I do not remember now, what he played or the way he played, and didn't remember it on those days either. I only remembered that he was emaciated, as Christ, that he closed his eyes, wriggled a little and seemed to be the continuation of his music - he of his music, not the music of him. I suppose, in those years I was not the only one to be impressed by him so deeply, anyway, the famous monologue from the play by Slavkin The Adult Daughter of the Young Man (the original name was The Daughter of the Teddy Boy, and they say, that it was renamed by Aksenov) had a phrase: "And here Goat (in Russian, kozel means goat) began with his saxophone "..., and the jazz-character of The Burn by Aksenov has literally portrait features of this musician.

 Later Kozlov founded the Arsenal band, not a classical jazz - ensemble, but something "jazz - fatal" (I think it to be nonsense, but that's a theme for another conversation)... Well, it is understandable... Searching... Everybody was looking for something... Up to now I can't listen to experimental disks of Miles Davis, COOL (who is almost the God for a lot of people), without being stuck dumb - as if the person had been replaced with some other one. Nevertheless jazz is not a genre, but a way of thinking aloud, having come to the appropriate mood before. The mood, which makes resonant fluctuation of a jazzman's soul possible. The magnificent recent Hollywood movie  - "About Midnight " - shows it quite clearly, the more so that the real jazz player of the 80s plays the role of a jazz player of the 60s.OK, let them seek. Maybe they will find something, though it's unlikely. But they (Miles Davis, Alexey Kozlov) have made so much for jazz, that they have the right to...

And then suddenly Kozlov produced a solo disc (music, arrangements and performance all by Alexey Kozlov). Looking for something or not, there should be the resonance! Alas! Melancholy, dead sounding of a mediocre синтезатора. (Though I can hardly believe in the синтезатор's being mediocre. According to what I've heard about Kozlov, he's not very rich, but anyway he could afford something, maybe not the very best, but good enough. But the синтезатор does sound as a mediocre one! As OPL2 from of a sound-card purchased for $15.) Nothing remains in one's memory (Maybe in the earlier Kozlov also wasn't good at composing themes, but, as a jazz-player should do, he didn't force himself, and if he felt the music wasn't good enough, he just took themes composed by some other person). There isn't a single  emotional splash on this disc. Pure concept. But a concept can be good either when it discovers something formally new (but here we have nothing of the kind, and indeed out time is not good for discovering anything new: during the first third of this century they opened so much, that we'll hardy have enough time to use it up), or when it is a ridiculous parody (I suppose, Kozlov would be offended even being suspected of it). 

 It seems, I understand Kozlov. Just generating emotions endlessly is some kind of humiliating. Those artists who perished being young - like imaginary Osian, real Buhner, Lermontov or Shubert probably only on one side became victims of circumstances, and on the other side - of the law of nature: you have said what you wanted to, and you did it successfully, brightly and from the first attempt - now it is necessary to go further (and where to, if everything was said at once?), or to leave. And not everyone is strong enough to do it and besides it is somehow... not humane. Anyway, if a person is mentally and morally decent he or she doesn't have a right to require it from an artist. Even at a level of unexpressed desires.

The third way for an artist is to experiment. Deceiving only himself with it. Well, maybe some fans as well. And Kozlov is likely to have done it with this disc. But the value of what he did in the 60s, is so great, that Kozlov has the right to release the Mountains of Kimeria even at the rate of a disc per month. And I am ready to revere those people who invested their money to give Kozlov an opportunity to realize this right. And I do not throw this disc away, though there is no spare room in my apartment. I do not throw it away in honor of Alexey Kozlov, a Russian Jazz-player of the 60s.

Dixi. I guessed I had said everything I could. Closed the file. Went on living. Then opened it again and re-read. And felt that my soul was not clear. And I put my hand on ergonomic plastic keys of the "natural" Microsoft keyboard and typed two paragraphs more.

A lot of things have changed recently. There are artists, who are able to realize it. Some are not. Some can, but not at once and via failures.

My love to Kozlov, as to the Phenomenon makes me hope for best. They say, some of his new discs have appeared or are appearing very soon. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Copyright 1998

Written by Evgeny Kozlovsky

Other essays by Evgeny Kozlovsky

Обзоры этого автора
"НОЛЬ" и Федор Чистяков
Компакты в Интернете
Errol Garner, Telonius Monk
Александр Розенбаум "Июльская жара"
Чиж & Co "Новый Иерусалим"
Аквариум "Кунсткамера", БГ "Прибежище"
Егор и опизденевшие "Сто лет одиночества"
Леонид Агутин "Летний дождь"
Бахыт компот "Страшнее бабы зверя нет"
Эдуард Успенский "Трое из Простоквашино"
Б. Гребенщиков - А. П. Зубарев. "Рапсодия для воды"
Александр Лаэртский. "Вымя"
BLUENITE и другие коллекции джаза
Ногу свело. "Счастлива, потому что беременна: синий альбом"; Сексуальные меньшинства. "Некрофилия"
Иосиф Кобзон, 16 компакт-дисков
Натали "Ветер с моря"
Жанна Агузарова
Антон Батагов играет "Искусство фуги" Баха
Юз Алешковский - "Окурочек"
Кислый уксус халявы: о дисках ООО "САНТЪ"
Афанасьев. "Заветные сказки"
Давид Ойстрах, Эмиль Гилельс и Максим Венгеров
Вероника Долина - "Невинград", "Любая любовь"
БГ - концерт 8 марта
"Руслан и Людмила" Глинки и "Мертвые Души" Щедрина в исполнении Большого театра
"Чиж & Co" - 5 компакт-дисков + 1 дополнительный
"Лука Мудищев"
Блестящие, "Просто мечты"
Аквариум Снежный лев
Пищиков, Гайворонский, Волков
Владимир Чекасин "Болеро-2" ...
БГ "Чубчик", "Лилит", "Песни Александра Вертинского", "Задушевные песни"
"Полонез, Чиж и Co"
"Из переписки с читателем"
В.Ерофеев Москва-Петушки
Иосиф Бродский
Микаэл Таривердиев
Alexey Kozlov. The Mountains of Kimeria
Алексей Козлов "Горы Киммерии"
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