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Jazz in the Soviet Union

Dzhazovye perevody Vladimira Bel'skogo, Galiny Griaznovoi i Aleksandra Mezdrikova [The jazz translations of Vladimir Bel'skii, Galina Griaznova, and Aleksandr Mezdrikov]: Leroy Jenkins, "Company", David Murray, George Lewis, Gunter Hampel.

Soviet Union, ca. 1976–1980. 339 leaves of reproduced typescript to rectos. Cut and sized to binding, but never bound; 20.8 × 14.8 cm. Very good; on paper stock of varying quality and varying clarity of printing.

Samizdat edition of a volume of texts about European and, to a lesser extent, American new jazz of the 1970s, edited by G. Sakharov and translated by three translators from the Soviet jazz milieu. Much of the material consists of interviews and articles by British jazz critic Derek Bailey. Much of the journal is focussed on "Company", a collective of freely improvising jazz musicians, which included Derek Bailey, Misha Mengelberg, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, and many others. An alphabetic index as well as a discography of the "Company" jazz improv group are also included.

The title leaf indicates the source of the English texts as Coda, a Canadian jazz journal published from 1958 to 2009.

Publications such as these would have been of great interest to a younger generation of jazz musicians following on the heels of the pioneering samizdat publications on American jazz prepared in the 1960s by the Group for the Study of Jazz in the USSR (Gruppa izucheniia dzhaza v SSSR, or GID) in Voronezh and in particular by Iurii Vermenich. Aside from a few exceptions, these were some of the earliest sources to jazz made available to Soviet readers, at great personal expense, effort, and even risk of legal persecution. Although the print runs did not exceed some dozen copies, translations by Vermenich played a key role in forming the late Soviet jazz elite of the late 1960s to 1980s.

The editor of the present volume was Gennadii Sakharov, a young scientist from Sverdlovsk (today Ekaterinburg), who was instrumental in the creation of the first jazz clubs in the city, originally with the support of the local Komsomol. In various forms, a jazz club existed in Sverdlovsk into the 1980s, organizing unofficial and even underground concerts, publishing a news bulletin, and issuing more serious publications such as the present work.

For more on the history of Ekaterinburg jazz, see: https://uralcult.ru/vehi-sverdlovskogo-dzhaza-141907

Provenance: through the trade, from the collection of Ekaterinburg jazz musician and drummer, Valerii Chernavin, a pioneer of Soviet post-war jazz in the Urals. In the 1960-70s, Chernavin performed in underground jazz concerts together with Vladimir Presniakov and Igor' Butman (through his descendants).

Book ID: 52698

Price: $350.00