Ukrainian guitarist releases a jazz album after a five year-long break
". . . An auspicious start to what promises to be a brilliant career."
— Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz
Ukrainian guitarist and composer Danil Zverkhanovsky had spent the last ten years abroad and the best part of those were in Berlin. After releasing his debut original album «In Pieces Suite» in 2017 produced yet another few years back by his then teacher and mentor Kurt Rosenwinkel, he’s finally back with a followup «Work In Progress». The album is being released digitally on Danil’s new DIY label Dnipro & Kruchi and is broken up in three EP’s and accompanying materials (Vol.1 out since 11.11.2022; Vol.2 released 06.01.2023 and Vol.3 set for 10.02.2023). His playing and writing here is still mainly Jazz but it’s gradually taking on more playful stylistic twists. The setting is basically a trio with Igor Osypov on bass guitar and Jesus Vega on drums; together with Zverkhanovsky it’s a flexible group well suited for live performances.
In 2022 just like most other Ukrainian artists abroad Danil had been busy participating in and co-organising various benefit concerts in venues like Donau115, ZigZag and A-Trane as well as a long string of other locations.
«Work In Progress» is a decorated guitar trio session consisting of nine diverse originals and seven short interludes. On different occasions the arrangements feature ensemble and solo brass and woodwinds as well as some electric piano, synths and post effects. The main recordings took place in November 2020, the tunes being written and revisited between 2010-2020. Unlike «In Pieces Suite» in this collection the songs mostly have little to do with one another conceptually - it’s a setlist of small forms that should be instantly familiar to an experienced listener. The producer-slash-artist’s original idea was to go for a «modern Rudy-Van-Gelder kind of thing» and it was assumed that it wouldn’t be possible without a certain openness to the approach, hence the records’ title.
This is the first batch of pieces written roughly between 2011 and 2020 and recorded in Berlin in November 2020 at the beautiful LowSwing Studio. The tunes for the session are all small forms that didn't end up in any particular set or a suite. At the time the music I was listening to and picturing myself playing was getting continually further from the genre these short jazz heads were written and I thought that if I don't make an album out of them now I don't know if I ever will. The basic production choices were inspired by some classic Rudy Van Gelder albums as well as the basic direction for the mix, not in an attempt to match the techniques, but hopefully have some similarity in spirit. The main session was just one afternoon with two good friends (Igor Osypov and Jesus Vega) recording all songs as a trio. The following months some post production sessions followed featuring the other friends and colleagues (such as Dima Bondarev, Sölvi Kolbeinsson and Yuriy Seredin) for arrangements, overdubs and interludes, adding a more modern producing approach on top. By the end of the production it felt like the tunes all took directions they wanted, and constituted a varied but still coherent selection. With time that had passed since none of us are unchanged and neither is the music, and that's exactly what the album title is supposed to stand for.
This is a private Soundcloud playlist containing the complete version of "Work In Progress" which hasn't been entirely released yet.
Recorded live in Berlin at the release concert for the first single of the "Work In Progress" series, November 2022.
A quintet performance from a collective benefit concert for Ukraine in April 2022. The piece is part of a suite called "Contemporary History" that's currently in production and is aiming to be released in late 2023 or early 2024.
A duo performance with trumpeter Dima Bondarev playing music from "In Pieces Suite" as well as "Work In Progress". Footage taken from a concert at an opening of a photo exhibition dedicated to the victims of the russian invasion in Ukraine.