Evgeny Lebedev
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Evgeny Lebedev

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"EVGENY LEBEDEV: I HEAR A RHAPSODY VARIATION"

The combination of piano and guitar is a tricky one, mostly because the instruments live in the same sonic register. If care isn't taken, both are lost in a murky mix. If you want to look back at the possibilities of such a duo done right, check out the Bill Evans/Jim Hall records Undercurrent and Intermodulation.

In a more modern context (read: now!) there is pianist/composer Evgeny Lebedev. On this track, Lebedev pairs with guitarist Jeff Miles to provide a nice example of subtle improvisation in the duo format. The composition begins with a descending, single-note guitar line, piano chords filling out the space. The main theme is then played in a kind of hybrid chord solo with the guitar playing the melody and the piano staying in the left hand. As time progresses, Lebedev and Miles try out as many permutations as possible — traditional guitar comping with piano on lead, piano comping with guitar lead, piano lead with guitar chord volume pedal tricks, traded fours, interleaved passages. That list makes it sound chaotic yet the results are anything but. I have to say it always knocks me out when one musician begins an idea that the next player extends, and you'll find a lot of that on this song.

"I Hear A Rhapsody" has been recorded by many jazz greats (including Evans and Hall on Undercurrent), but Evgeny Lebedev manages to put his own twist on it. It feels fresh again.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski - jazz.com


"Evgeny Lebedev at Tanglewood"


On the piano and musical continuum, you couldn't get much farther away from boogie woogie and stride than Evgeny Lebedev, a Russian-born recent Berklee graduate. The post-modern, polymetric, high intensity arrangements of his compositions were like a refined, rarefied acoustic Meshugah. Lebedev's comfort with complex rhythmic patterns is no wonder since they are a key element in Eastern European music.

The impressionistic opening of "Russian Dance" (on which I thought I heard recorded vocal tracks) meandered from 11/4 to 5/4 to 3/4 and back to the combination of figures of 6 and 5 as the band added heft and textures. When they played "Footprints," you could hear it in 3/4 or 4/4, so integrated was the feel of triplets on four.

Lebedev, an accomplished pianist, is a highly lyrical, astute player with sweet edges, but the trio, an integrated, communicative unit supported by the taut, fierce drumming of Lee Fish, pushed into more hard-driving grooves for this set. "Fairy Tale" started with a rubato bass solo, and as Haggai Cohen Milo shaped and heightened it, the piano entered with a chromatic run that set the move towards a fierce solo worthy of the Brothers Grimm. The mood ranged from the meditative introduction of "In Her Eyes" over light pedal point to the Jarrettesque solo on "From East to West" The bass had an assertive role, setting up the embellished rolling groove to the Shorter tune and plugging into the development of a hard-swinging solo over the changes. Later, Milo added fat, feathery guitaristic bass lines and strummed chords to a Bulgarian-inspired tune.

Lebedev has matured a lot in just one year; his music has deeper conviction His upcoming CD, From East to West, will feature Terri Lyne Carrington.


http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2009/9/10/Evgeny-Lebedev-Tanglewood09 - jazz.com


"Evgeny Lebedev At Beantown Jazz Festival"

Unlike Manami, Russian-born Evgeny Lebedev plays in the middle to lower registers of the instrument. He’s a larger, slower-moving person, but he’s equally skilled a musician. Tinges of Eastern Europe are obvious in his playing at times, but so is Keith Jarrett. Lebedev is definitely classically trained: you could hear it in his left-hand motifs and in the counterpoint of a fugue-like introduction to “If I Should Lose You,” which opened the set. Again, in contrast to Manami, who had a loose me-and-my-friends approach to the presentation, Lebedev and his sidemen emerged from the green room more formally. In Lebedev’s “Russian Dance,” soft lyricism and interwoven lines build almost to a gallop. Moving the solo into a sustained groove, Lebedev and the band stayed there, with drum rolls by Lee Fish, (drummer for Collage, tenor player Mike Tucker’s debut album) and very fast bass lines by Hynwoo Man. While there was some funk, the arrangements were essentially straight ahead. The band supported Oleg Ostopchuk’s fluid tenor solos well, although the mix did drown him out a little. For his encore, Lebedev chose “Peace,” which he opened solo piano. The tenor added bluesy overtones to this jazz ballad, then the piano put in heavy left-hand arpeggios as underpinning. It was a fitting message with which to end the evening. - www.jazz.com


Discography

• Evgeny Lebedev “102 Days” Solyd Records 2008
• Evgeny Lebedev “Fall” One Records 2007
• Nikolay Moiseenko “Perfect World” One Records 2007
• Marimba Plus “Celestial Elephant» 2007
• Jazz Revelation Records “Common Ground” JRR 2008
• Sunlight «Live @ FM Club» 2007 One Records
• Andrew K. “Serpentine” 2007
• Anatoly Tekuchev- "Careless" 2005
• Marimba Plus “Cinemania” 2008
Mass Ave Project "Mass Ave" 2009

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Bio


Billboard award winner and laureate of numerous jazz contests, Evgeny Lebedev quickly established himself as one of the most promising young pianists in today’s jazz scene. For such a small career Evgeny already performed and recorded with luminaries like Jack De Johnette, Marcus Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, David Sanchez, David Fiuczynski and participated in prestigious festivals, including North Sea Jazz Festival, Lionel Hamplton Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival and more. Evgeny appears on more than 10 CD’s and released two albums under his own name, that were highly marked by critics in Japan, USA and Russia.
Evgeny Lebedev was born in 1984 in Moscow. Growing up in Russia, Evgeny’s musical background consisted of Russian Folk music, which was often played in his household. Inspired by his family, Evgeny took up the accordion at age of 8. Since than, he was performing folk music in various prestigious music festivals and won several accordion contests. At the age of 15, driving under the influence of jazz music, Evgeny began studying piano and immediately fell in love with it. Between 1999 and 2001 he attended the Moscow College of Arts where he studied under Evgeny Grechischev. In 2002, Evgeny entered Gnessins' Russian Academy of Music where he studied under internationally acclaimed professor/performer Igor Brill. Evgeny has taken part in the following jazz festivals: Jazz at the Hermitage Garden (Moscow 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007); Eurasia (Orenburg, Russia, 2001 and 2002); International Jazz Festival in Minsk, Belarus (2002); VI International Moscow Jazz Festival in memory of Willis Connover (2001); Russian Night in Davos (Switzerland 2005); Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (USA 2005); North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Usadba Jazz Festival (Moscow,Russia); Tanglewood Jazz Festival (USA 2009),performed in Germany, England, Switzerland, Netherlands. Evgeny received awards at the Moscow Jazz Festival of Young Performers in 1999 and 2001. He holds a diploma from the New Names Charity Foundation. In 2004, he entered Berklee College of Music on scholarship, where he studied with Hal Crook, Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, JoAnne Brackeen. Evgeny is the second prize winner and silver medal holder of the 1st Moscow International Competition of Jazz Performers (piano).