Wednesday, September 14, 2011
One Night in Tallinn
It is hard to say when modern jazz began in the Soviet Union, but in 1967 Charles Lloyd toured the Soviet Union and recorded a concert in Tallinn. The original album contained four cuts and was released on Atlantic. It showcased Lloyd, along with Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure and Jack DeJohnette, at he peak of his popularity following the highly successful Forest Flower album. The highlight of the concert was an extended version of "Sweet Georgia Bright." Soviet "jazz bands" tended to be state produced with music by the Composers' Union, so this was quite a departure from the standard fare.
Slava Ganelin formed the Ganelin Trio with Vladimir Tarasov and Vladimir Chekasin in Vilnius in 1970, which is generally regarded as the first free jazz band in the Soviet Union. They would achieve international success with the studio album Ancora da Capo and their live recording in East Germany.
What little cross pollination that occurred during this time was at events like the Tallinn Jazz Festival.