THE RUSSIANS

Last night I went to see a Siberian big band with an English singer perform at Macclesfield Leisure Centre, I must admit I did not have any great expectations. To my surprise the venue was great and had been set up in a very professional manner. You had no idea you were in a «Sports Hall», that was the first surprise of many!

The Big Band augmented by the strings of the BBC philharmonic orchestra under the direction of Tolkachev were stunning. John opened with the Nelson Riddle arrangement of «Night and Day» it was tremendous, his performance was of the highest level, song after song were delivered with style and passion, the final number was a great duet by John and Vladimir of «How do you keep The Music Playing» it was an unexpected ending to what had been a wonderfully unexpected evening of fantastic music. The packed house was on their feet.

John is a wonderful stylish singer, the band were superb. The evening was truly great, To All at Macc Leisure Centre I would never have believed it!!!

«Manchester Metro», July 2008
Jason Park


I enjoyed so much listening to the Band playing. They are great musicians and gave a masterful performance of Big Band jazz. After the intermission John started singing.
I don’t think I blinked from the moment he started until the moment he finished singing. The word that comes to mind «transfixed». I just checked the dictionary: transfix. To pierce through: to paralyze with sudden emotion…. I could barely applaud for two of his songs I was so moved – and then the tempo changed and I was in my seventh no eight’s heaven.
John’s voice is truly remarkable with extraordinary breath control. He held a thousand people in a palm of his hand. I glanced to the program it said Sinatra type singer- forget it. Last night they were John’s songs but nobody sings it like him.
Heart felt thanks to Vladimir and John for a never to be forgotten evening of magical music. 
 
Charles and Mary Richardson 
(Director of Buxton International music Festival)


«To the East, to the East»
«Russia» — the central theme of XIV Jazz Week in Hannover.
The planned expansion of the Jazz Festival to the East was successfully realized. This year there are not many American musicians among the participants of 12 actions of festival, but its leaders don’t feel bad: We have made as the federal chancellor and have paid attention to the East. In Novosibirsk talented scouts of the Jazz Musical Initiative have found treasure, and Vladimir Tolkachev's Jazz Band was chosen as Top-ensemble of the festival. 
 
«Hannoversche allgemeine zeitung», № 50, 28.02.2002. 


Jazz Week in Hannover will start April, 17. Jazz with surprise.
Russian come and not only them. The top-action of the Festival is Vladimir Tolkachev Jazz Orchestra which plays in Pavilion on April, 26. The Big Band from Novosibirsk owns all style directions known in a history of jazz: from classical up to extravagant. They can sound as Count Baisie or as Sun Ra, — Johannes Klose admires, a member of the Council of the Jazz Musical Initiative. 
 
Jorg Vorat 
«Neue Presse», № 50, 28.02.2002 


«Coustics» (Germany) / V. Tolkachev's (Russia) Jazz band.
The Final chord of the Festival is Vladimir Tolkachev Jazz Band. Its great travel on various styles of the Big Bands music sharpen with passion and accuracy is expected with the big interest. 
 
From the site of festival: 26.04.2002. 14-th Week of a jazz in Hannover. 


Jazz Week celebrates the ending a swing from Siberia.
The atmosphere has changed, when a stage was occupied by 19 swinging musicians from Novosibirsk. Tolkachev has told: Mr. Gershvin Summertime, and the orchestra has gone to 50-minute impressing round — incredibly great! Then there were standards from the repertoire of orchestras by Count Baisie and Baddy Rich. The audience enjoyed much: constant approval of public, 40 minutes of encore. Olaf Maikopf. 
 
«Neue Presse», № 99, 29.04.2002, page 25. 


Swing from Siberia. End of Jazz Week.
What is to do in Novosibirsk? In ancient times Russian tsars calmed here obstinate souls. Probably, something from former «revolutionism» in this territory was kept. Cultural prejudices sitting in western heads was destroyed by what the listeners in a hall have heard from the coast of the Ob-river.
Giggling, a roar, buzz, hissing furious many-headed animal — so in the variations on George Gershvin's theme «Summertime» Vladimir Tolkachev Jazz Band has destroyed all stereotypes and has impudently hooked the most sacred all-american classic-song writer. It would be desirable to pinch itself to believe in a reality of an event: here is it — musical Siberia!
Performance of the Vladimir Tolkachev Orchestra has brilliantly finished the XIV Jazz Week in Hannover of this year. Maestro Tolkachev and his team who after vanguard by Gershvin has offered also sated swing program, has made all possible.
And though musicians wearily tried to remove public from the hall by the melody by Glenn Miller Little Brown Jug or by sentimental Shadow of your Smile, tempted the spectators to leave but hunger on the Siberian jazz were unsatiable. 
 
«Hannoversche allgemeine zeitung» ( the Hanover public newspaper ), № 99, 29.04.2002, page 6. 


Great big band, Great swing
Was I right to make come this orchestra?, — addressed Poumi Arnaud, the director of the Megeve Jazz Festival to the audience. The lavish applause was an eloquent answer. This evening kept its promises, thanks to sensational Big Band from Novosibirsk.
Where have these musicians got such incredible sense of swing from?
Is this to soften the extreme Siberian frosts?
Monday evening, the Big Band from Novosibirsk warmed up the chilliest spectators.
Repertoire from Count Baisie up to Duke Ellington, passing by Glenn Miller and In the mood melt the techno fans, brass, piano, drums and guitar are mostly to visit different repertoires. In the head, Vladimir Tolkachev served as intermediary between his musicians and the audience public.
This evening is forever engraved in the memories and CDs. In the end of the concert the CDs and videorecords store was empty in five minutes. The musicians were many times acclaimed and asked for encore 
 
Le Dauphine Libere, Megeve, France, 14.08.2002. 


Mais il y a des choses plus interessantes. Comme la residence du Big Band de Novosibirsk par exemple. Ca cest l’evenement de cette annee. Cest un echange fabuleux. Ces musiciens viennent du fin fond de la Siberie, et ils vont se taper 20 petits merdeux. Trois jours durant, ces professionnels (voir ci-contre) repeteront en effet avec quelques jeunes stagiaires. Et ca se finira par un boeuf monstrueux a lAcademie et a Cybele. Et de continuer: Cest ca lesprit de lAcademie: une rencontre, un echange, des moments fabuleux. 
 
1 juillet 2003, «Le Progres», France. 


Apres la scene de l’Academie Lundi, le Big Band de Novosibirsk (Siberie) a decouvert, hier, celle de Cybele. Une derniere prestation en forme dadieu qui a enchante le public toujours tres present. Apres trois jours de residence au college Ponsard, qui ont vu ces professionnels russes collaborer avec de jeunes stagiaires, ils sont partis decouvrir dautres festivals europeens. 
 
3 juillet 2003, «Le Progres», France.


The performance of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Bag Band under the direction of Vladimir Tolkachev at the III Moscow International Jazz Festival demonstrated that this Orchestra was one of the best Russian Big Bands and the precise stylish manner of playing proved that its leader was a real professional. 
 
Oleg Lundstrem, «Evening Novosibirsk», Novosibirsk 


The Big Band under the direction of Vladimir Tolkachev by its significance is not only the pearl of Siberia but it demonstrates now the bright playing on a very high professional level and is a part of the trio of the best Big Bands of Russia. 
 
Georgy Garanyan, «Seven Days», (Novosibirsk) 


I am a free artist at the moment. I maintain the relations with good musicians and perform sometimes with them. I keep my form. My relations with Vladimir Tolklachev are especially very dear to me. 
 
Georgy Garanyan, «Evening Novosibirsk», Novosibirsk 


American jazz musicians in general would never suspect that Siberian musicians would be such great and devoted jazz players. But last night we heard a great jazz performance by the musicians of the Philharmonic Big Band, and we were inspired by their professionalism and their high-level performance. 
 
Leader of the jazz department at Brigham Young University, 
Artistic director of the Big Band «Synthesis» (Utah, USA), 
Professor Ray Smith, «Seven Days», (Novosibirsk) 


The Orchestra represented with dignity the musical art of Novosibirsk and let some critics to consider itself the best Big Band of Russia and to the others, undoubtedly, one of the best. 
 
Composer Youri Saulski 


It was a great honor for me to perform with Vladimir Tolkachev Big Band. The Orchestra played as one organism in rhythm and in phrases. Moreover: rhythm-section made a real swing. This musical meeting is a very memorial event for me. 
 
Saxophone-player Pekka Toivanen (Finland), «News» (Moscow) 


This Big Band could teach a few lessons in skill to some famous people in the capital. 
 
Critic Dmitry Ukhov Journal, «Stereo and Video» (Russia) 


The Novosibirsk Jazz Orchestra Eurosib International under the direction of Vladimir Tolkachev can be called the most extremist Big Band from Baltic to the Pacific Ocean. If classic no even fewest note from itself, canons only, but if some innovation all limits and boarders off! Great professional skill, firm orchestra swing 
 
Booklet «Jazz at the Ocean-92», (Vladivostok) 


Variety of styles, exactness, culture of sound. Today this orchestra is one of the best in Russia and not only. 
 
«Tchelyabinsk Worker», (Tchelyabinsk) 


Vladimir Tolkachev Orchestra was as always splendid! It accepts easily all new insertions to its performances (ballet of the Theatre, vocal ensemble Pastoral), staying itself the best jazz orchestra of Russia of XX century. 
 
«Evening Ekaterinburg», (Ekaterinburg) 


The most essential for Vladimir Tolkachev artistic view to even very well-known pieces. Now it is the best Big Band in Russia. When Batashev was representing the orchestra the phrase was pronounced that Tolkachev plays Ellington better than Ellington himself. 
 
«Puls of Culture», (Ekaterinburg)

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