By Ammar Kalia | Published May 2020
A great bandleader is one who knows when to step back and let their arrangements shine through the collective power of their group. Look to Thelonious Monk hopping away from his piano to dance to his rhythm section, or Miles Davis’ piercing, drawn-out lines sporadically cutting through his cluster of musicians’ swirling interplay. Often, the best improvisation is in the support of others, and bassist Yuri Goloubev seems to understand that on Two Chevrons Apart.
Initially trained in classical music, and embracing jazz in 2004, Goloubev has been in demand, working with the likes of Gwilym Simcock and Jason Rebello. Collaboration seems hard-wired into Goloubev’s makeup, and as such, he lets saxophonist Tim Garland run through delicately interlaced melodic lines on “Just Another Week” and softly flutter in a high register on “Elegiac.”
Throughout, though, is Goloubev’s warm, undulating tone, providing the thoughtful foundation to this understated music. While “Sweet Nothings” posits a cloying melody and “Cemetery Symmetry” drags somewhat during its pensive middle section, Goloubev really hits his stride in the more propulsive sections, neatly slotting in between drummer Asaf Sirkis and pianist John Turville’s fast-paced back-and-forth.
In many respects, this is an uncomplicated record, one that swings evenly and plays straightahead. Yet, that doesn’t relegate Two Chevrons Apart to mere background music. In fact, its beauty lies in a perceived simplicity; in employing his years of collaborative experience to function on equal footing with his accomplished band, Goloubev produces an impressively subtle work.
Two Chevrons Apart: Beethoven & Schubert: Friends … ?; Two Chevrons Apart; Just Another Week; Dead End Date; Cemetery Symmetry; Sweet Nothings; Elegiac; Parisian Episode VII. (56:45)
Personnel: Yuri Goloubev, bass; Tim Garland, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; John Turville, piano; Asaf Sirkis, drums.