Ethno-Jazz from Eastern and Central Europe
Alexander Fedoriouk began playing the cimbalom at the age of seven in his hometown of Kolomyia, Ukraine, and received his Bachelor's degree in music from the Kiev State Conservatory. He has performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland State University Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Eletfa Hungarian Folk Band, and the Cheres Ukrainian Band. Alexander is currently a full time member of and featured soloist with the Harmonia Folk Band of Cleveland, where he is currently resides.
Since moving to the United States nearly a decade ago, Alexander has recorded over twenty-five records, which include projects with Nigel Pulsford of Bush, Erick Friedlander of Topaz. Alexander appeared with legendary jazz flautist Herbie Mann at the Blue Note in Manhattan and recorded an album "Eastern European Roots" with Sonna Tera, and performed in Carnegie Hall with John Cale of Velvet Underground. He has appeared live on NPR in Cleveland and New York. He also recorded for two movie soundtracks "Over my dead body" and "Truth about Charlie".
In addition to being heralded as one of the greatest cimbalom players in North America, Alexander is an accomplished percussionist, woodwind player, accordionist, and instrument maker. Currently, Alexander is a bandleader of CCX (Cross Cultural Xperiment) ensemble.
Kalman "Ocsi" Magyar began playing violin at the age of five; he is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music's Preparatory Division, where he studied violin, viola, piano and bass guitar for eight years. He continued his musical development while attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, touring with the world-famous Tamburitzans throughout United States and Canada for four years. While with the Tamburitzans Kalman broadened his folk music knowledge beyond his native Hungarian, and began to study and play music from other Central and Eastern European countries.
Kalman is currently an attorney in New Jersey, still pursuing an active performing schedule with several musical groups, including the Eletfa Hungarian Folk Band, Continental Dance Orchestra ("wedding-style Hungarian and American music), Equinox (rock music), and Skitnice (Croatian Music). Kalman plays over twenty musical instruments and has performed at venues such as Epcot Center, Alice Tully Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Library of Congress, Bitter End (New York), and the Clear water Festival. He has written music for and appeared on CBS's national "Sunday Morning" television show and performed live on WQXR (96.3 FM) and WFMU (91.1 FM) in New York.
Alexander and Kalman's paths first crossed at a gathering of musical friends during a house party in Brooklyn in winter 1996. A "jam session" erupted and the synergy between two musicians began. It turned out the two shared a common bond - Kalman had just graduated from the Tamburitzans, and Alex was preparing to join the group, where he would spend a year touring the nation. A close friendship would develop between two musicians. Over the years, they played numerous times together including with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Bands Cheres, Eletfa, and Harmonia, and performed at venues such as Manhattan's Town Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Knitting Factory. They have always enjoyed improvising and experimenting with their music, and, in May 2002, decided to record this C.D.
Most of the music on this disc is based on traditional village folk melodies and motifs; some tunes have also been composed. Various genres are apparent in this recording-aside from village folk music, influences of jazz, swing, and blues abound. Alexander and Kalman are schooled in folk music, have utmost respect for it and continue to perform, teach and propagate folk music; in this recording, however, they taken great liberties with the melodies, styles, and forms of the folk tunes upon this music is based. Rather than presenting the folk tunes in their original authentic forms on all the tracks, Alexander and Kalman have strive to use the melodies to propel their own improvisatory senses, thereby creating a fusion of styles perhaps classifiable as "ethno-jass."
This disc offers a fusion of musical genres, a unique blend of folk instruments, a cross-cultural musical exploration, and a combination of two masters of folk music presenting an improvisation-driven, "jazz"-like edge to centuries-old melodies. Let the crossing of cultural and musical paths begin.
Recorded and mixed: Hungaria Record Recording Studios, Rockaway. New Jersey, May-July, 2002
Mastered: SUMA Recording Studio, Painesvile, Ohio-September 2002 by Paul Hamann.
Photography: Andras Balassy, Alexander Fedoriouk
Liner Notes: Kalman Magyar
Graphic Design: Alexander Fedoriouk
Produced by: Alexander Fedoriouk, Kalman Magyar
Release by: Folk Sounds Records
For more information on other Folk Sounds Records releases, please write to:
Folk Sounds Records
Cleveland, Ohio 44109-0067
Visit the web site: www.FolkSoundsRecords.net
File under: World / Eastern Europe
"...things really got cooking when Fedoriouk took hammers to cimbalom. His fiery playing was jaw-droppingly fast, evoking gasps from the audience." Peggy Latkovich, The Cleveland Free Times
"Alexander Fedoriouk drew glistening sounds from that most Hungarian of instruments, the cimbalom." Donald Rosenberg, The Cleveland Plain Dealer