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Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
Band World Jazz





YURODNY - Evenset (Diatribe 08; UK) This is an excellent new ensemble from Ireland. The personnel is Oleg Ponomarev, Adrian Hart & Cora Venus Lunny on violins & viola, Kate Ellis on cello, Nick Roth on soprano & alto sax, Colm O'Hara on trombone, Francesco Turrisi on piano & accordion, Dave Redmond on double bass and Phil Macmullan on drums plus two guests on clarinets & two guests on trumpets. Where do they all come from...? That's what I ask myself every week as I make my way through dozens (hundreds?) of promos every week. Yes, that is the great thing about this job is that you never know when one of those unknown gems will show up. Here's today's treasure...
Earlier this week the drummer for this band, Phil Macmullan, left us with two fine discs from the unknown-to-me Irish octet called Yurodny. The instrumentation is certainly unique: four strings, two horns, piano, bass & drums. "Balkantown" has a rather Klezmer-like melody with the accordion leading the rhythm team and a feisty trombone solo over those swirling strings. The groove alone had me feelin' good. The guest clarinetists, Mihaly Borbely or Gilad Atzmon, start off the title track with a swell Klez-like tone and melody played sublimely by the strings. This piece also features some lovely flugelhorn also played by one of two guests. "Red Hora" has one of those intense Bulgarian wedding band-like sounds, with great strings and a cimbalom, (large hammered dulcimer) at the center. What makes this disc so special is the unique and crafty arrangements, making full use of the octet and their six guests. Although this band is from Ireland, it is impossible to tell from their charming Eastern European sound. Saxist Nick Roth, who wrote three of the eight pieces on this disc, plays a superb soprano solo on "Folia", which is followed by a sublime piano solo from the song's composer Francesco Turrisi. "Griffmadar" is an impressive progressive piece that shows off different members of the ensemble and is episodic with unexpected twists and turns. Yurodny is one of those bands who is astonishingly diverse and successful on a variety of different levels. Strange that I've never heard of them before. Can't wait to check out their other disc. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery - Downtown Music Gallery, NYC

"Yurodny - Evenset"

LAST year's debut from Yurodny, Odd Set, announced a young Irish ensemble with the talent
and the chutzpah to play Balkan and eastern European music as it should be played.
Now with the follow-up, saxophonist Nick Roth and his eight-piece band have moved beyond
arrangements of traditional Klezmer tunes and are creating their own music which is challenging,
original and suffused with real feeling. Roth's mentor, Israeli-Palestinian saxophonist Gilad Atzmon,
produces and has evidently been a positive influence, and other guests make fine instrumental
contributions. But most of the credit must go to Roth and his ensemble for elevating their
Eastern-leaning jazz to a new level.

October 18, 2009 - The Tribune


Odd Set
Diatribe Recordings DIACD002
For pointers, geographical as well as musical, to the where, what, why and how of
Yurodny, take yourself to its MySpace page and scroll down to see who has signed up
as a friend of the ever-changing Dublin collective.
You don’t need to filter through all 8012 signatories to glean useful hints about
Yurodny’s boundary defying but discernibly east European-accented heritage. On the
first page alone you’ll bump into the legendary Bulgarian clarinettist Ivo Papasov,
Balkan Gypsy band and genre pluralists Taraf de Haïdouks, the Kocani Orkester, a
Macedonian Gypsy brass ensemble, fellow Dubliners, The North Strand Klezmer Band,
and multi-tasking cellist and sometime member of Crash Ensemble and the Karan
Casey Band, Kate Ellis. Which should tell you, if nothing else, that Yurodny is a
steadfastly inclusive musical proposition sans frontières.
Illustrating that to exhilarating perfection is the ensemble’s debut CD. Recorded at the
Glens Centre in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, the nine-track recital traverses freely
through Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Serbia, stopping off to sample traditional
klezmer and Hebrew pieces along the way with a couple of fresh melting-pot
concoctions from Yurodny violinist Oleg Ponomarev.
Indeed, Ponomarev’s deliciously tongue-in-cheek mix of melancholy and mayhem,
Miserable Hora, gets proceedings off to a slow-burn start, all wilting strings and
keening accordion, before flaring into a positively incendiary finale in which percussion,
alto sax and strings race headlong into dazzling virtuosity. Lighter, warmer, no less
playful textures lend the opening answer-and-response exchanges of Polonez its own
delicately handled charm.
The traditional Romanian Koj mi Tropa adds a graver tone, its fleeting onomatopoeic
bird sounds set in elegiac relief by baleful soprano saxophone, the doleful
processional footfall of the Persian zarb (‘goblet drum’) and a mournful violin
commentary. If the rhythmically alert coupling of two Serbian songs, Cocek Spece and
Galabarski Cocek, echoes the music’s martial origins, Yurodny deliver them with
considerably less regimented aplomb, their melodic lines flowing seamlessly between
individual instruments with the second marked by a vital exchange between two violins.
No less reciprocal is the lugubriously hypnotic Pusta Mladost from the foothills of
Bulgaria’s Pirin Mountains. It benefits here from the guest appearance of the Myriada
Ensemble whose ethnic saz, ney and oud and, not least, the extraordinary voice of
Maria Koti, add vividly stringent detail and colour.
If Hangu owes a touch more to modern free-form jazz than to its klezmer roots that’s
no bad thing in the hands of musicians as flexible and versatile as these. Colm
O’Hara’s lamenting trombone, Nick Roth’s searching alto sax and Phil McMullan’s
sensitive drumming in the liturgical Jewish poem Ma’oz Tsur bring things to an achingly
beautiful conclusion.
Michael Quinn is a freelance music and theatre journalist based in Co. Down. - The Journal of Music


Odd Set (Diatribe Records '08)


Evenset (Diatribe Records '09)


Music from these albums, and live recordings by the group, have featured on European and US radio shows, often in exclusive interview sessions or feature programmes on the band.



Led by saxophonist and composer Nick Roth, Yurodny perform contemporary interpretations of traditional music from Eastern Europe and the Near East alongside new works from composers inspired by these traditions.

Described by the Irish Times as 'triumphant...vibrant and irresistable' and by the Journal of Music as 'music sans frontieres...breathtaking elegance' the group have performed at festivals across Europe since their formation in 2007 and have released two critically acclaimed albums on the Diatribe label.

A Yurodny track also featured on the IASCA CD compilation for the members of the UK and US State delegations of Barrack Obama and HRH Queen Elizabeth II during their recent visits to Ireland. In 2012, as well as their European festival dates the ensemble will perform in Tokyo playing a new work by Japanese composer Mamoru Fujieda and in Istanbul premiering new works by Ed Bennett and Kamran Ince, both of which were Commission Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2010 and 2011. The group have been invited to perform at the internationally renowned Festival au Désert in Mali in January 2012.