The trio of jazz pianist Dmitry Ilugdin has released its third studio album, “My Story”. It is the first release of Jazzist, a new record label based in Moscow, Russia.
All the music on “My Story” was entirely written by the Trio’s founder, composer and pianist Dmitry Ilugdin. The Trio (other members include Victor Shestak on double bass and Petr Ivshin on drums and percussion) has been working together for more than six years. Ilugdin’s original material was carefully tailored during live performances, coming to fruition for studio recording. The sound was engineered by Andrey Levin, chief specialist of the Mosfilm studios and one of the Jazzist co-founders. The album’s artwork was created by the world renowned designer Victor Melamed. Araik Hakobyan, art director of the Kozlov Jazz Club (another co-founder of Jazzist), became the executive producer.
“My Story” has a very personal touch to it. Every composition on the album is based on life experiences, human emotions and existential matters. Dmitry Ilugdin came up with an idea to supplement the tracks with short descriptions in order to add more accuracy, so to speak, when it came to conveying the mood of each piece. For example, “Case” is about unexpected situations that make you feel uptight and uneasy at first but, as time passes, you grow to have fond memories about them and you feel thankful for the experiences and new skills that came with them. “All these are true stories that actually happened to me,” says Dmitry Ilugdin. “Although the album is called “My Story”, I’m sure that many people have found themselves in similar situations. And since these stories are familiar not only to the listeners but to the members of the Trio, each of us managed to fill the initial musical idea with personal experience. I can say that our stories are intertwined.”
Stylistically, Ilugdin’s music absorbs the traditions of “cool” European jazz, follows the principles of sound integrity and clarity laid down by ECM, and reinterprets Russian classical music. The musicians combine understanding of the context and brilliant command of the instruments with the ability to be themselves and stick to their own style. For Ilugdin Trio, the lyrical and powerful “My Story” is yet another step forward.
“Reflection”, their previous album, was released in Russia in 2017, and was reissued in 2019 by Losen Records (Norway). In 2018, Ilugdin Trio participated in a large-scale celebration of the International Jazz Day under the auspices of UNESCO and represented Russia at the jazzahead! exhibition in Bremen. During these years the Trio performed at various venues, including Russian and international jazz festivals (Usadba Jazz, Amersfoort Jazz Festival, Belgrade Jazz Festival and others).
Says Dmitry Ilugdin: “When asked to speak about myself, I always prefer music to words. Each piece on this album is a small story about the inner state, feeling, mood, sensation, worldview, hope, memory. My good friends, Peter and Victor, help me to unwrap these stories. I am infinitely grateful for the enormous inner energy that they put into this music. It took a long time to choose which compositions would be recorded for this album, and we decided to make it cohesive in feeling and musical breath. It will be priceless for me if the listener finds in this music something consonant with their soul and their life.”
This piece came to be quite swiftly, like an unexpected life situation which you are uptight about at first but later remember with gratitude for the experience and a new skill.
We all have a place to return to when things are difficult. It may be in the distant past, in the future (as a dream), or very close by, but this is where we always feel at home.
3. What For?
How many more answers come when you ask the right question! Sometimes all it takes is to replace “Why?” with “What for?”
4. Tamed Loneliness
On maturity and the endless striving for it.
5. Prelude No. 5
This piece is our small dialogue, a conversation on the lives of three friends.
A small afterword. A sentiment.
Dmitry Ilugdin: piano
Petr Ivshin: drums
Victor Shestak: bass
Music by Dmitry Ilugdin
Recorded and mixed by Andrey Levin at Mosfilm Music Studios
Mastered by Anatoly Ryassov
Design by Victor Melamed
Executive producer: Araik Hakobyan
Special thanks to Margarita Rudyak
© ℗ Jazzist, 2021