If a listener, not familiar with the Moscow-based LRK Trio, is hoping to enjoy the sounds of a traditional jazz piano trio—I’m afraid he (or she) will be quite surprised. Pianist Evgeny Lebedev, nassist Anton Revnyuk, and drummer Ignat Kravtsov play far beyond the cozy, narrow boundaries of that format.
The band name suggests that it’s not another piano trio, but three equals playing together. However, although acoustic and electric basses (Revnyuk) and drums (Kravtsov) are extremely important in the trio sound, it is the Lebedev’s piano that dominates it. It is undoubtedly a jazz piano, but you can also hear that the piano player is immersed in the classical Russian composition heritage, and that he is consciously using recognizably Russian melodies and intonations, both in composition and improvisation. Lebedev is also a virtuoso, which allows him not only to set complex tasks on the verge of modern jazz and modern symphony for the band and for himself: it allows him to perform those tasks.
The keyword here is ‘modern’. Although intonations of Russian symphony in its most romantic, lyrical form (roughly, from Tchaikovsky to Sviridov,) dominate the LRK Trio sound, its rhythmic side is exceedingly modern: and I mean not just Kravtsov’s percissive work, but also his interaction with the lower level of harmonic textures, for which Revnyuk’s basses are responsible, and the complex constructions they build together around the piano parts. Rhythmically this is, definitely, the 21st century music: transparent and accessible, although sophisticated; recognizably Russian, although standing in the crossroads of all global musical pathways.
The sound of ‘If You Have A Dream’ is enriched by a string quartet and an entire brass-and-woodwinds section. In two tracks, confirming the global relevance, the Russian band is reinforced by the sound of a chromatic harmonica, played by the French master, Olivier Ker Ourio.