Monday, 23 November 2009

Alexey Kozlov

Went to hear a Russian jazz legend last week, saxophonist Alexey Kozlov, with his band the New Arsenal. Whilst jazz wasn't banned in the Soviet period, non-'regular' musicians (the cultural underground) did get constantly hounded by the KGB. Some of Kozlov's tunes are about this very thing, which cannot have endeared him then, and the experience of which clearly remains central to how he still sees himself today. 

He is a fantastic player, not just living off a previous reputation, although the band takes a bit of time to get fully into their stride. It says on the website that he was born in 1935, so he is in good form (if a bit haggard) - although I guess many jazz musicians seem to last a very long time. 
You can listen so some music here: or go and see them play Thursdays, starting 8.30 at the Forte Club on Bolshaya Bronnaya str.,29 (in Russian Бол. Бронная ул.)

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