His new album, "Odesa: A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City" (Sunnyside Records), is a tribute to the city he was born in. Recorded before the current invasion, the music is, nevertheless, filled with passion, with emotions such as joy, anger, defiance, good and bad memories both from Neselovskyi's lifetime and before. Not surprisingly, there's a classical feel to much of this music––in interviews, the pianist mentions being inspired by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", especially in form and focus. Over the course of the 13-song program, this music covers a wide swath of musical territory. What stories this music tells! Whether it's the "Potemkin Stairs" (photo below) or the blooming "Acacia Trees" or playing the "Waltz of Odesa Conservatory" of the memories of "My First Rock Concert", the passion and emotions stand out.
Start "Odesa" at the beginning and don't stop until the final notes of "The Renaissance of Odesa" fade away. Listen in the morning at dawn and, with the birds singing, you could be sitting on those stairs. Vadim Neselovskyi has created a masterpiece and it's not just because of the current war raging in his homeland. In fact, the bulk of the album was recorded in
August of 2020 and finished a year later. While some of the music is elegiac, there are pieces that explode out of the speakers, songs that rock, roar, and dance. "Odesa" is both a celebration of a great city but also the story of Vadim Neselovskyi as he is finding his place in the world. Brilliant music and performance like this should not, must not, be missed.
For more information, go to https://vadimneselovskyi.com/. To purchase the album, go to https://vadimneselovskyi.bandcamp.com/.
Hear "Potemkin Stairs":
While studying and living in New York City, German-born pianist/ composer Florian Hoefner had become a busy composer and bandleader. But, his wife got a tenure-track position at a university in Newfoundland and he willingly followed. Eventually, Hoefner also was offered a teaching position and they settled into their new home. The pianist still manages to maintain his Quartet (three albums on Origin Records) and ties with Subtone, a quintet he co-founded while living in Germany; but since moving up North, he organized a trio with two well-established Canadian musicians, bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Nick Fraser. Hoefner made the time to study the rich world of Canadian folk and maritime music to fit into his surroundings as well as to make new musical connections.
|Photo: Martin Bernetti|
Atacama desert, Chile
"Desert Bloom" is often bright, sometimes shy to open up but ultimately a delightful way to spend 65 minutes. The music opens even further as one listens again and again; concentrate on each instrument and then listen again to the collective. There has been a large amount of excellent piano trio music released in the first six months of 2022 and much more to come. This album by the Florian Hoefner Trio is certainly one of the best of this or any year!
For more information, go to https://florian-hoefner.com/.