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"Djabe"  GroupAziza Mustafa Zadeh
Billy Cobham "Culture Mix"Hiram Bullock Group
Denise JannahGrzegorz Karnas's "Dreams" Project

from June 22

The next, the third in a row Baku International Jazz Festival was held from the 7th of June 2007 to the 14th. As in the past years the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan, Friends of Azerbaijan Culture Foundation and Baku Jazz Center were the organizers of the Festival...>>>


Press-Release from June 8, Year 2007 June 8th. The first master-class provided in the program of the Festival was held at the beginning of the day – and that lesson of jazz was delivered by our guests from Moscow the professor of RAM named after Gnesinikh saxophonist Alexander Oseychuk and his student and currently his colleague on the stage of "Gnesinka" docent Janna Ilmer. The other members of the Green Wave group – pianist Rodion Gobarov, bass Andrey Aminov and drummer Alexander Zinger took part in demonstration of necessary fragments when needed. I do not want to go into details regarding this demonstrative class but I will note one important moment: maestro Oseychuk did not mainly focus on the speed of the play, but on the looking for expressive means and the methods of its achievement and strengthening. I hope that advices of the most experienced masters did not pass by ears of young Azerbaijani musicians, who are just starting their path in jazz.
A few hours later the stage of Baku Jazz Center was given to young musicians – although they were supported by already known and experienced in Baku jazz events masters. The program was opened by vocalists Leyla Salimova and Lala Safarli. Both of them received the right of participation at the festival for the first time, having passed the selection round – although in the last year Festival Leyla participated, as it is said, out of contest: she is the very same girl who were not afraid of singing with Al Jarreau on the stage of the Heidar Aliyev Palace. First they sang in the duet, then each of them performed separately. My opinion regarding Leyla has not changed: the girl’s vocal talent is really wonderful, but in order to realize the powerful potential given by Nature much work is required and sometimes one need to work tediously on it. Let us hope that she will have enough patience for that. As to Lala Safarli, it is much harder to forecast anything in this case. Unlike to Leyla she needs to work with professional teachers over her technical aspects. I will also note that Leyla performed "Angel Eyes", which becomes more popular among the young performers. Jahan Azimzadeh performed the same song during the concert of young jazzmen in January this year.
The second item in the program was Riad Mamedov – he performed two plays. The young pianist is full of energy, but it seemed to me that his development as a pianist had slowed down a little. Although he has a potential, but at the same time there is a feeling that something disturbs him. It is ungrateful thing to analyze him on the basis of the two plays in the program of his performance due to lack of material for that. First of all Riad must do it himself – and if he can find his weak points then less time will be required to correct mistakes and it will be more efficient.
But the next performance has met the expectations: as always Aysel Guliyeva performed well. And though on the last festival her rhythm-section was very inexperienced, but for this time experienced musicians performed with Aysel: bass Ruslan Huseynov and drummer Sergey Krasnyanskiy. Brilliant performance – and now I want to mark not the potential, but the deliberate approach to performed pieces. If she decides not to leave jazz then no doubt she is going to have a good future. The most difficult problem for her will be selection of future path, and not only in the music. Later it was the turn of saxophonists Elchin Huseynli and Ilham Asadov – they were accompanied by the trio with Isfar Sarabskiy, Ruslan Huseynov and Sergey Krasnyanskiy. Isfar as to his age shall have performed in the youth program of the Festival – but his case is an exception: on the 10th he has a performance on the Festival with a separate program. As to this item of the program of young performers, everything was on its place: saxophonists’ excitable and exact play was supported (no other way) with a wonderful accompaniment, which helped Elchin and Ilham to demonstrate their potential and did not disturb them at the same time. After saxophonists had left the stage Isfar decided to perform one more play out of program: the boy is infinitely heated. Our guests from Mocow appeared in the hall at that moment – and I would like to note Janna Ilmer’s attention when she was observing Isfar’s performance. I will remind that Isfar Sarabskiy will perform during the Festival on the 10th of June at 16:00 at Jazz Center.
A little break – and then the guests from Moscow appeared on the stage. I will note that a soloist of the Big Theater, originating from Baku Stanislav Suleymanov recommended this group to the organizing committee of the Festival. It is a pity that we will not be able to thank him personally: as we were informed by Alexander Oseychuk he had passed away shortly before the Festival. It is very sad when good people leave us... very sad.
Alexander Viktorovich Oseychuk’s visit to Baku has been very intensive: as you remember, he performed on the opening of the Festival just right after the arrival, the following morning he started with master-class and after lunch he had a press-conference for journalists: he was tortured for 40 minutes, and in the evening he came on the stage with his students (running ahead I will say that the guests from Moscow have also participated at the jam session and left Baku Jazz Center only after the midnight). The quintet’s program consisted of compositions from Alexander Oseychuk’s album "Devotion", and the first sounded play was his own composition "Branford" dedicated to Branford Marsalis. Unfortunately I managed to listen the performance of this great group only by fragments – I had to solve some organizational problems and not waiting until the end of performance I had to leave Baku Jazz Center and head to the Opera and Ballet Theater. But I want to note that the performance of Alexander Oseychuk’s group with Janna Ilmer is indisputably one of the best for the all three years that the Festival has been held. So the beginning of the Festival has turned out very well, no doubt...
The famous Aziza Mustafazadeh performed in front of Bakunians at the Opera and Ballet Theater in the evening. Her visit to native Baku has become a wonderful present for the organizers of the Festival. And on that evening I cursed the destiny, which threw me to the organizing committee of the Festival: I spent that evening not in the hall but behind the stage. Therefore I could not fully enjoy the concert: the sound is different in the wings and I constantly was disturbed. I promise that in tomorrow’s press release Aziza’s concert will be in more detail: I think that researcher of Vagif Mustafazadeh’s creativity musicologist Turan khanum Mamedaliyeva will not refuse to share her impressions from that evening. The concert was of course unique: the princess of Jazz who missed Baku and and its people performed for two and half hours instead of the scheduled one and half – the audience just did not want to let her go. Aziza ended her performance only when her strength - emotional and physical as well expired... Although it probable that she decided to spare palms of the spectators – a little more and the squall of ovation could have broken the walls of the antique Opera building.
Rovshan Sananoglu