Pre-order of Jubilee. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Purchasable with gift card
releases December 1, 2023
$8USD or more
Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album
Compact disc in beautiful 4-panel wallet packaging with artwork by JoeLius DuBois Porter and layout by Zacc Harris.
Includes digital pre-order of Jubilee.
You get 2 tracks now
(streaming via the free Bandcamp app
and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the
complete album the moment it’s released.
Jubilee is Brooklyn-based drummer Tima Volozh’s debut album which encapsulate the diverse influences that have shaped his musical journey. It features Paul Motian alumni Jerome Harris (bass) and Brad Shepik (guitar) along with Timo Vollbrecht (saxophone) and Noah Franche-Nolan (piano). The music, featuring both originals and standards, is rooted in the legacy of Black American Music, with a particular emphasis on drummers like Motian, Ed Blackwell, Al Foster, Jack DeJohnette and Vernell Fournier.
Liner Notes by David Blake:
One thing I love about drummer led albums is the tendency to showcase the collaborative efforts of all the band members. Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band come to mind as examples of drummer helmed groups whose prolific leaders allowed their musicians to shape much of the musical direction, while fiercely commanding the band from the drum throne. Tima Volozh stays true to the tradition here with this quintet which, perhaps not coincidentally, features two veterans of Paul Motian’s groups: guitarist Brad Shepik and bass guitarist Jerome Harris.
Tima and I met in grad school, where we quickly connected as friends and colleagues, and I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him in New York and on the road. (An impromptu trip to Chicago in the middle of winter really helped seal our friendship.) I can say without hesitation that this album beautifully encapsules the thoughtful, passionate dedication that Tima has for his craft. Within Jubilee, you can hear traces of the history while feeling the cutting edge of the music throughout.
I first heard this band play in 2022, to an audience packed into Brooklyn’s Sholes Street Studio like sardines. The energy in the room was tense, and the audience’s eyebrows gave away the sheer excitement shared amongst the concert goers. It was clear that this music needed to be documented, and I am grateful that Tima took his group into the studio to capture the quintet’s spirit for the rest of us to enjoy.
Jubilee borrows its opening statement from one of the greatest musical works of the 20th century. However, instead of a lone bassoon, it’s Tima’s driving drum groove that sets up the iconic theme from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring – Adoration of the Earth – which is heartfully performed by tenor saxophonist Timo Vollbrecht. Tima’s bright reimagining of this material is an homage to his Russian roots, while creating a simulacrum of a ballet where Vollbrecht is the principal dancer around whom pianist Noah Franche-Nolan provides tender support.
Vortex has Shepik whirling around Vollbrecht in an original composition of Tima’s that evokes the mournful music of Kenny Wheeler.
Now would be a good time to mention that Tima’s relationship to rhythm doesn’t end with the drum set. A secret of his that I’d better reveal here is that for as long as I’ve known him, he’s been dancing. In the past few years, I know he’s been sneaking off to salsa classes at least once a week but before that he had spent some time studying Capoeira. This shed some light on the third piece of the album Lá lauê which, according to Tima, is an arrangement of a traditional Brazilian song that he learned from his study of the once clandestine martial art. Shepik’s solo on Lá lauê captures the aesthetic that his generation of guitarists introduced to the idiom: brilliant, dazzling lines set off with gruff distortion.
Star Eyes, a bebop staple, is reimagined by Tima in modern style that stretches out the simple melody into a self-sustaining polyphonic poly-rhythmic mind game that the arranger plays with an ease that hides its complexity. With the melody functioning simultaneously as the odd-time signature bassline, this funky rendition provides ample room for the band to explore. Pianist Noah Franche-Nolan is featured here in a brilliant solo that effortlessly navigates the complex rhythms. Harris’s bass playing on this track is funky as can be.
McCoy Tyner’s ballad Aisha is performed with an elegance that demonstrates Tima’s masterful brushwork and the rhythm section’s ability to create momentum and intrigue in any context. This track, again arranged by Tima, features a brilliant bass solo by Harris, who manages to play the idiom of the electric bass and the double bass on his beautiful archtop bass guitar. Tima’s accompaniment flutters effortlessly throughout the piano and saxophone duet that follows.
Mumbo Jumbo is a tribute to Tima’s biggest influence, drummer Paul Motian, who was as much an institution as a musician. As I mentioned earlier, Shepik and Harris are both former members of Motian’s groups, and no doubt a major factor in their inclusion in this project. Vollbrecht, while a generation too late to play with Motian, has worked a lot with guitarist Ben Monder, who was also involved in many Motian groups. Although this tune is in fact a Motian original, the influence can be heard across the whole album.
Jubilee concludes with a Thelonious Monk tune, Evidence, which here is completely reimagined as almost a new composition. This frolicking endeavor sees the whole band playing around each other building tension until the album ends in its climax.
This album is a heartfelt set of music that captures Tima’s unique musical personality. From the repertoire to the choice of musicians, this artistic statement is an album to be listened to time and time again. If you’ve read this far, I hope you join me in giving Tima a hearty congratulations.
Produced by Tima Volozh
Recorded by Todd Carder at Bunker Studio,
Brooklyn, NY, December 2022
Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Artwork by JoeLius DuBois Porter
Layout by Zacc Harris
Liner Notes by David Blake
Yeah, double what another reviewer wrote about polymeters, this is some really tremendous collective playing, in fact some of the best I’ve heard in a long while. I’m going to soak my head in some of this. I really appreciate how the drummer holds this group sound so nicely. Each member adds to the flame in such a brilliant manner! ronn branton