Most of the day I stayed in the room practicing my instrument and looking out at Red Square. Jennifer and I wanted to get to the club early so that we could get a sound check and settle in. Faina picked us up and we stuffed my organ and all our equipment in her compact car and off we went to Le Club in the Taganka Theatre Building.
When we arrived the big friendly doormen picked up my heavy cases like they were toothpicks and brought them up the stairs for me! Vladimir the sound engineer for the club was very smooth and professional, and a very nice guy. We got a good sound on the organ and then came Eduard Zizak the great drummer! I had already met Eduard in New York the week before when he was there performing with Igor’s quartet at Birdland. Eduard is an incredible drummer and also a very nice guy. We made a little soundcheck and right away I could tell that he had listened to my music and we would lock up with some very tight grooves…no problem!
But where was Igor? I was hoping for a little mini-rehearsel with Igor but when I saw the public coming in to have dinner I knew it was too late for that! Igor arrived with his entourage and it was great to see him…he told me not to worry and apologised for not coming earlier. Igor is in big demand with a very busy schedule, so I am very lucky and honored that he could take the time to perform with me together even as his new cd album "Prophecy" was just released on the Universal Label.
We had time only for a 5 minute soundcheck and I showed Igor my book. This was going to be a very spontaneous performance, no doubt about it!
We decided to record it, and Vladimir did a fantastic job on the recording on their new digital recording console that they had just brought back from New York.
From the first notes I knew that this would be one of those magic nights I would never forget. The response from the audience was wonderful. I could only say in Russsian, "Ya LuBlu Vas"…which means, I love you all. And when I said the words to the people I got a great feeling back from them. First set was just fine and then on the break I was introduced to many press people and some fantastic local musicians. I was very honored that they all came to greet me. And then Igor proudly introduced me to 2 of the legendary jazz musicians of Moscow-accordionist Vladimir Danilin and guitarist Alexei Kuznezov. They said they had their instruments in the car and so yes we decided right away to make a live session together.
It was incredible from the first song on the 2nd set, playing together with these fantastic Moscow musicians! It felt like we had been playing together for 20 years. These musicians are some of the greatest I have ever heard and played together with. The audience was loving every bit of it, just as much as I! I was so happy that Vladimir was getting it all on tape and Jennifer was also running the video machine and taking pictures also. By the end of the night I was very satisfied with how everything went. Igor personally drove Jennifer and I back to the hotel in his nice car with fantastic sound system.
Great night! © HammondCast
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BLUES IN THE MOSCOW WHITE NIGHTS
Eduard Zizak, Hamburg Jazz, HammondCast, Igor Butman, Jon Hammond, KYCY Radio, Moscow Russia, Wynton Marsalis, ASCAP Network, Marat Garipov, Faina, Alexander Dovgopoly. Vershbow