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Zhenya Strigalev moving sax forward

Zhenya Strigalev

Find out what Zhenya Strigalev is busy with

   Since the 2014 article for Musicians’ Corner I have basically recorded two albums, Robin Goodie (2015) and Never Group, and toured after. Both albums were well received. One of the reasons for Never Group is that I wanted to do an album with a trio. Tim Lefebvre and Eric Harland had never previously recorded together in the trio format, and they have great musical chemistry. They sound really fresh, and we understand each other very well.

"In The Mood Redux" Never Group - official video 2016

   The album was recorded in Berlin. We were on tour and stayed on there for a few days to record it. The sessions were improvised and relaxed, growing in different directions, and we picked up the best moments from the improvisations.

   Bruno Liberda is a pioneer in electronic music and a classical composer, based in Vienna. We had met and discussed some kind of collaboration, and there was space for that in this production. It added colour to it. I sent him tracks from different recorded channels and he did his own compositions using our recordings. It isn’t remixes. Tim is very good with pedals and it all fit together.

   I also wanted to do a few tunes in trio format with double bass. I never forget about acoustic jazz so I wanted to record that too with Matt Penman on double bass.

   My friend John Escreet who lives in New York also added work.

   The album has different kinds of music, and is like a DJ playing diverse tracks for a listening audience.

   I am happy that the album has been well received and hope that people are discovering it.

"Strange Party" Never Group - official video 2016

   We are now touring, and the setting is different with two trumpets, drums and bass. I am doing some electronics and also pedals, figuring out a special way of using them that nobody else does.

   I like to propose tunes with a strong melody which inspires improvisation, a melody that isn’t locked in into one genre of jazz, but something that we can do many things with, and a lot of space to move in musically.

   I don’t like talking too much about future plans.

Zhenya Strigalev has gone from strength to strength in his recording career, with three acclaimed releases behind him to date, the latest of which is Never Group (self titled, April 2016). Strigalev also has interesting concepts for the recorded and live formats respectively, and seems to be on an ever expanding journey into the language of music.

Find out more HERE and HERE 

Zhenya Strigalev has previously contributed to Musicians’ Corner. Read the earlier article HERE

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Derek Walmsley received The Music Journalist of the Year-award

Article in the section Articles about the Music Journalist of the Year award


Music journalist of the year Derek Walmsley

   Derek Walmsley, Deputy Editor at The Wire, was elected Music Journalist Of The Year 2014, by the artist jury at Musicians’ Corner at the beginning of the year. And on a summer day in London, Walmsley received the award.

   The jury, consisting of artists and Musicians’ Corner-contributors Jean-Paul Bourelly, Svante Karlsson and Chris Simmons, wrote the following about the recipient:

   "Derek Walmsley has an obvious passion for music and the infinite roots of its history. His work is enlightening and well-written. Details are combined with complexity in a way that makes you want to read more. Walmsley’s articles are nuanced and make insightful connections. The reader is informed through his articles and can no longer sit by as a passive consumer. This is elevated writing. It is deep and comprehensive. This is what we need more of today. Derek Walmsley is deserving of the award and should receive it."

   Saxophonist and Musicians’ Corner-contributor Zhenya Strigalev presented Derek Walmsley with the well deserved award in London during the week.

The jury behind the selection of the winner, and the presenter of the award:


Jean-Paul Bourelly, Svante Karlsson, Chris Simmons and Zhenya Strigalev.


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Zhenya Strigalev: - I couldn't believe that my friends didn't listen to jazz

An article with Zhenya Strigalev

An article with Zhenya Strigalev

  I started to listen to jazz when I was nine years old. And I was surprised to find that my friends didn't listen to it. I used to ask my friends ''Do you listen to jazz?'' and they said ''No''. I couldn't believe it.

  My influences are Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Benny Carter...but more than anyone else Sonny Rollins. I like the freedom in his music, I like him rythmically, soundwise, I like his articulation and his energy.

  I grew up in Sankt Petersburg, but I have now lived in England for ten years. People say that they hear Russian influences in my music, and I like it when they do. It's an inevitable part of me. I don't try to do it, but my background is coming through naturally.

  A lot of my compositions come from my practice. I transcribe music and practice it, and when I do phrases that I didn't know were there pop out.

- Zhenya Strigalev

Zhenya Strigalew is a Royal Academy of Music-graduate, based in London, who released the album ''Smiling Organizm'' in 2012, about which The Guardian wrote:  ''a fascinating old-school/cutting-edge hybrid, with a formidable bebop-rooted sax technique, a burgeoning talent for composition, and an engaging willingness to take a chance.''.  Zhenya Strigalev plans to release an album during the fall of 2014. Find out more HERE.

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