Alexei Zoubov
JazzLife in Pictures

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This is another picture of the Zoubov-Saulski Duo.

Judging by my hair and mustache, the year is probably 1978, a year before my first trip to USA, and this was one of the last concerts of this duo.
My duo with Igor Saulski grew out of necessity - we tried to create a quintet, then a quartet, and after getting absolutely nowhere, fired bass and drums and decided to try a duo.

From the first concert (and we had a lot of them in two years) it was a success. I consider this duo one of my best loved groups, the sense of communication, freedom and creativity was breathtaking.

The group ceased to exist after Igor moved to the states in 1979.
I'll have to call somebody in Moscow to find out when this concert took place. At the very left - late Boris Rytchkov, one of the very best Russian jazz pianists. He actually almost forced me to start paying saxophone.

Markin is on bass, Bakholdin on trombone. I have a very strange (if not to say stupid) expression on my face. Judging by my hair and mustache, the picture was taken after 1974.
These two Konsantin\'s were two of the most active and prominent jazz musicians in Russian jazz. I played with Bacholdin for close to 25 years in combos and big bands until my departure for USA. Nosov had one of the most beatiful trumpet sounds I ever heard. He was able to play with equal mastery in the styles of Don Cherry, Clark Terry, Miles Davis and a creative mixture of these and other styles. I was happy to work with him for several years.

I was very saddened by their early deaths.

I am talking to Dick Hyman at the rehearsal for the concert we participated in.

Konstantin Nosov (trumpet) and Konstantin Bakholdin (trombone) are in the background. Both are sadly gone.

Boris Frumkin, a pianist with Vadim Ludvikovsky Radio and Television big band and also a member of my first long lasting group Crescendo is on the left. On the right is Dick Hyman, a top jazz pianist also, who came to Moscow as a leader of New York Repertory Orchestra.

Several musicians from Ludvikovsky band (Including Frumkin, trombonist Bakholdin and me on tenor) paricipated in Repertory Band concert in Moscow.

Duke Ellington came to Moscow in 1972. This picture of me with Paul Gonsalves was taken at the jam during the official reception.

Gonsalves was at the peak of his playing and drinking. He died soon after this tour, in 1974, at the age of 53.

This is a very young Dee Dee Bridgewater (she came to Russia in 1967 with Thad Jones - Mel Lewis band). Shot at a jam session we had in Moscow with the members of the band that went on for many hours.
I am in the center, a very talented Russian trumpet player Andrei Tovmasian is playing solo on the right.

Mel Lewis (it turned out that his real last name is Sokoloff) on the right.

Their band influenced everybody in Russian jazz circles and inspired several jazz arrangers to study Thad Jones\' way of arranging, Even now you can hear his influence on the style of major arranger for the Igor Butman band - Vitaly Dolgov.

This is taken at 1967 Prague festival. All critics agree that this was one of the most impressive jazz festivals ever. Clark - Boland Big Band, Charles Lloyd quartet (with Keith Jarrett), Ronald Kirk, and many other top names in jazz.

And... my quintet Crescendo that triggered absolutely unexpected praises from critics and an ovation from the audience, mostly the last piece of mine that was my first attempt of using ancient Russian melodies in almost The Love Supreme form.

Next year I extended this composition into three-part suite Byliny-Stariny that received the 1st prize at 1968 Moscow Jazz Festival.

This suite was featured with a different group on my 2006 CD Rejuvenation Project and then played again in Moscow in November 2006.
Alexei Kozlov (center), saxophone player, arranger, composer, leader of several jazz and jazz-rock ensembles, most famous of which was and is Arsenal is still extremely active in Russian jazz scene.

I have a honor to consider him to be my friend. Our paths intersected, ran parallel or in different directions. We played together on different occasions, starting around 1957, and still continue to enjoy our musical and social contacts.

After about 18 months of playing bariton sax, I finally happily switched back to tenor.

Lundsrem band was on tour 8 months out of every year and played the same program sometimes up to a year. It was OK while I felt that I was learning new stuff, but eventually became pretty boring.

Still, I started to play flute (badly) and slowly was learning how to arrange for the big band.

I spent 6 years with Oleg Lunstrem band.

I was 23 when I was offered a job playing baritone with the best Russian big band at the time, led by Oleg Lundstrem. I just got my masters degree in physics, was offered a prestigious job with the top research institute, but decided to drop my scientific career for one in music.

I lacked formal music education, my reading skills were next to nonexistent, I had no technics to speak of. I was hired only because I knew more contemporary jazz licks than almost any saxophone player in Russia at the time and had a decent sound and feeling for swing.
Left to right: Vadim Sakun, one of the best Russian pianists and a holder of PhD in Physics, your truly and Konstantin Bakholdin, whom I played with in different groups and orchestras for about 23 years. We are discussing something (may be jazz, may be chicks), doing what we always did best - drinking.

Location - one of just opened Moscow jazz clubs - they just started to appear and more and more opened in 60's.
Here is "The Eight", a group pretty famous at the time in Moscow. Not all members fit into the picture. Konstantin Bakholdin on trombone, Victor Zelchenko on trumpet, I am playing tenor (old Kohlert and some pretty awful mouthpiece), Georgi Garanian on clarinet in the background.

"The Eight" was later incorporated into a big band, created specifically to participate in the Youth Festival in Moscow (Summer of 1957), which was immesiately disbanded after the festival.
Here are 3 anti-Soviet, jazz-loving, USA-admiring "stilyagi".

We started listening to jazz radio programs about 1950, then came western-style clothes and all other "rotten" western, mostly American influences.

This is the very start - the year is 1955, I am a sophomore majoring in physics at Moscow State University. I decided to try the clarinet without any idea where it could lead me to. It led me very far and away from physics - not that I regret it too much!

My friend and later a great Russian jazz pianist Boris Rytchkov could not stand my clarinet playing and suggested me to try a saxophone. I took the bait.