In 2001, the famous Russian ska-punk band Spitfire started a spin-off project called St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review in collaboration with members of the St. Petersburg-based, afro-Caribbean band Markscheider Kunst. The initial idea was to create a program comprised mostly of jazz standards such as Sidewinder, Corcovado, Four and original ska tunes (St. Thomas, Man in the Street) to perform at the Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival (SKIF) in April '01.
The line-up of this band included the baritone-sax and percussion players of Markscheider Kunst as well as all members of Spitfire. The show attracted great interest and the band continued to play live gigs on the Russian club scene. SPb Ska-Jazz Review’s debut album was recorded in March '02 at Dobrolet studio in St. Petersburg and was released in Russia in the spring of 2002 on the small independent label Zvezda Records.
Soon after the release of the first album, American vocalist Jennifer Davis joined the line-up, and the band went to work on its second album, Too Good To Be True, recorded in April 2004. This album features mostly original material and was released in Russia on the Shnur’OK label and in Europe and the United States on Megalith Records. The first SPb Ska-Jazz Review album was re-released on the well-known German ska label, Grover Records, in January 2005 and was supported by an extensive German and Swiss tour. The band also recorded a live concert CD/DVD entitled “Live at Red Club” in December 2006 and is currently working on material for a forthcoming studio album.
SPb Ska-Jazz Review is a band that crosses borders both musically and physically fusing the dynamic contrasts of sweet harmonies and hard-driving polyrhythms, improvisation and tight orchestra playing, East and West, and machismo and feminine wiles to create fiercely energetic and inspiring music transcending the boundaries dictated by genre. This band swings as hard as it skanks.