‘Visions in Black & White’ is a collection of rare jazz and improvised themes
by one of the greatest Russian film composers Mikael Tariverdiev (1931-1996).
Originally composed for cinema and TV movies of the 1960s and 1970s, it centres on Mikael playing at the piano and keyboard. Many of the compositions can be described as jazz, a genre whose troubled story in the Soviet Union meant they probably would not have existed outside the context of a film score. But, as Vera Tariverdieva, Mikael’s wife, tells, it is probably more in accordance with his vision to hear them in the context of his life-long love of improvisation.
“Astoundingly, he said more than once that he wasn’t fond of jazz. This perplexed me, as he’d always been great at improvisation. Imagine my amazement then when I rummaged through one of our old closets and found a crumbling old tape. It was the score for the 1964 film ‘Until Tomorrow’. I played it. And the realisation came: not only had Mikael had been fond of jazz — no, he’d been an amazing jazz musician. He’d simply forgotten about it, the way one forgets getting an inoculation as a child! Inoculated, he seemed to have developed the necessary response and moved on. Jazz was no more than one stopover on his journey.” Vera Tariverdieva
The pieces here are an introduction to Mikael’s musical world. The tonality of individual tracks varies – they were transferred from original tapes of different eras and conditions that are kept in the Tariverdiev apartment in Moscow where Vera still lives and works. They have been carefully mastered to retain as much of the original ambience as possible and to capture the spirit of a master at work.
Photo Courtesy of Vera Tariverdieva
“A master conjuror of smoke-filled moves” The Guardian
“A rich treasure trove that fascinated and entices in equal measure” MOJO
‘Visions in Black & White’ is released on white vinyl on 6th November via Earth Recordings
• Original, rare jazz and improvised compositions for ‘60s and ‘70s Soviet movies from revered Russian composer Mikael Tariverdiev (‘Seventeen Moments Of Spring’, ’The Irony of Fate’)
• Produced by Vera Tariverdieva and Stephen Coates. Transferred and mastered from original tapes in the Tariverdiev apartment in Moscow