by Konstantin Klashtorni Ė reviewed by Chris Mann
Konstantin Klashtorni has had an extensive musical education,
including Kiev State Music College and the Royal Conservatory in Den
Haag, Holland, where he studied for his Masters Degree.
graduation, he worked with Peter Pashkov's "Vuyko Band"
exploring styles such as hard bop, cool jazz, etc.
With this band, Konstantin took part in the "Jazz-Rock
Jamboree" festival in Budapest, Hungary in 1991.
he moved to Venezuela, Konstantin first experienced Latin-American
music styles and incorporated them into his developing personal style.
Between 1995 and 2000, Konstantin worked with a host of bands
He was part of numerous music projects where such names as
Dionne Warwick and Eric Marienthal performed and he even played the
Montreux Jazz Festival in 1996 as part of the Biella Da Costa band.
now based in Holland, and after touring most of Europe and a large
part of South America, his association with Nightstage Records has
resulted in this, his debut CD.
be hooked in the first few bars of the title track Ė itís the sort
of sound thatís made stars of Jeff Kashiwa, Eric Marienthal, Euge
Groove and other players whoíve sussed that you can dance to
jazz and still have something to sing on the train to work!
The rhythm is busy Ė if you dance to it, youíll need to
catch your breath. The tone and power of the sax will immediately impress you.
Itís also impressive to hear a player show two sides of their
talent in their first two songs; the lovely Waiting for You is
as romantic as the first song is wild! The arrangement of this song is typical of the most
accomplished smooth jazz performers/producers.
Are you looking forward to the next nine songs??
Ė oh my word, radio jocks seize this one and make it the song of the
groove with strong rhythm and catchy keyboard stabs, but man, itís
that hook, that HOOK!
Utterly sublime, good-time music.
Youíd expect Lullaby to be sweet and gentle and it is
just that. The
percussion and keyboards do just enough but the sax is the star here,
leading with a strong melody and chorus.
groove is a little mechanical on Sunday Ė but itís
infectious. The gentle
hip-hop groove is overlaid with layers of tasteful keyboards and the
chord sequences are hugely appealing to my ears.
But, again, listen to that sax while youíre dancing Ė it
could be Eric Marienthal or any of the players right at the top of the
smooth jazz tree. Too
Much to be Truth is more of a mid-tempo groove and itís a very
strong one. This guyís
melodies are some of the strongest you will hear and I canít believe
that a sax player this strong is able to provide all his own backing
often hear me expressing disappointment that electronic rhythms are
used on smooth jazz CDís, especially by artists who are beginning
their recording careers. Iím going to stop that, or at least I am for players like
this where the melodic content and sheer musicality of whatís
coming out of my speakers is as delightful as this.
Funky Story, Klashtorni steps out with Kirk Whalum-style
confidence on alto and his phrasing and energy place him alongside the
best players in this genre that you can name.
Very infectious Ė he knows just how long he can hold a note
before moving onto the next measure and he must blow live audiences
away! When this guy gets
mellow, youíd better listen too Ė Morning Song is a song
Najee would be proud of and even on the tiny speakers Iím using as I
type this on my PC, it sounds dramatic.
Itís mixed using lots of reverb so the sax notes hang in the
air above the classy keys and finger-snaps.
Minor chords are making the hairs on the back of my neck stand
up! Dynamite ballad!
a hint of African and a dash of calypso on the sunny, upbeat Back
to the Sunny Place. Klashtorni
has taken his sax to many countries and some of them must have been an
inspiration for this song. The
strutting Wild Fellow should get serious airplay Ė itís a
song that has a great hook and the use of closely doubled horn lines
is highly effective, as it is on several of the songs here.
Iíd love to hear this live with a drummer and bass player
really rocking the place! Letís close on a high Ė Octopus is another tough
groove with darker keyboards than some of the songs.
It must be another crowd-pleaser because itís structured in a
way that would let every member of the band take a turn in the
spotlight in a live setting.
very lucky Ė this treasure dropped into my mailbox and I had no idea
what to expect. You need
to go no further than Konstantinís very stylish
website to find out about the man and his music and Amazon.com
to buy this CD. Iíve
run out of superlatives to use about this album.
Let me just say that Konstantin, and Nightstage Records, needs
to be ready for a very busy time once more people in Europe and the
USA start to hear this CD. I
donít believe it Ė you wonít believe it Ė you have to
Nightstage Records Ė NSR003 Ė Produced by
Konstantin Klashtorni and Eugene Minakov