Can I be imagining it, or does a Russian Bear have a particular grip on the jazz double bass? The bass is such a physical instrument. Russians don’t do things in half-measures. Seriousness and intensity are standard issue equipment (anyone do feel free to disagree with these preposterous generalizations!) Plus they have a unique tradition in the playing of all stringed instruments – which I understand comes from the conviction that perfect articulation only comes from a very high finger action(?)
Well. I’m thinking yes, thre are some special, powerful Russian bassists: there’s Boris Kozlov out there in New York, whose powerful playing propels the Mingus Big Band. I’m thinking of the astonishing Yuri Goloubev from Milan, whose bowing arm was manufactured by Rolls-Royce, and I’m thinking of London’s own : Yuriy Galkin.
Galkin is Royal Academy- trained. He’s won composing prizes. And he’s got a cream-of-the-crop nonet of young players out at the Vortex next Tuesday 27th, called the Symbiosis Big Band. I’ve been enjoying the soundclips of his compositions from his Myspace. Recommended.