New jazz record “Jazz suites: Reimagined!” by Raimonds Pauls and Latvian Radio big band has been released under the Latvian jazz music label “Jersika Records”.
The record includes jazz suites composed by pianist and composer Raimonds Pauls in the 1960s, which were re-recorded in the Latvian Radio studio where Maestro played together with the Latvian Radio Big Band. In the recording we can hear the instrumental jazz suite “Southern Watercolors”, as well as excerpts from the suites “Black colors”, “Mountain Sketches” and “Impressions”, but the record opens with the composition “Parade of Instruments (Orchestra)”, which has been used as the first piece in countless big band concerts. The arrangement for the Big Band was created by the leading man and conductor of the Latvian Radio Big Band, saxophonist Kārlis Vanags, but the vibraphonist Miķelis Dzenuška is participating as a guest in the recording.
“I’m happy about the Latvian Radio big band's recording "Jazz Suites", which will be released on a record. Arranger Kārlis Vanags has done a great job with my 60's jazz themes. I’m grateful to everyone who worked on this record. Jazz is returning to Latvia!” writes Raimonds Pauls in the introduction to the record.
"This project allowed me to travel through time and get to know both the music of Maestro Raimonds Pauls' youth days and the values and influences that permeated jazz music several decades ago. When creating the arrangement for the big band, I tried to bring my writing style closer to the original sound of the 60’s, which was a very interesting and exciting process for me,” says Kārlis Vanags.
Video conversation of Mareks Ameriks with Raimonds Pauls about jazz in Latvia in the 1960s:
It can also be noted as special that this recording was made in an authentic professional studio light bulb tape recorder Studer C37, manufactured in the 1960s, which was located in the legendary Riga Recording Studio in the Reformed Church, where the music publishing house “Melodija” made its recordings. Maestro's recordings of the 1960s and 1970s were also likely made on this tape recorder, and the world-famous band The Beatles also made their recordings on such tape recorders.
Video of the tape recorder Studer C37 used in the recording and its owner:
The record "Jazz suites: Reimagined!" is a kind of continuation of the record "The Lost Latvian Radio studio sessions 1965 / 1966", which contain the jazz suites "Southern Watercolors", "Impressions" and "Mountain Sketches" recorded by Raimonds Pauls Trio in the 1960s.
The album was recorded in January 2021, completely analogue, on tape, under the guidance of sound engineer Gustavs Ērenpreiss, assisted by Augustin Delle and Mārtiņš Krastiņš. The record cover design uses photographs by Oskars Upenieks, but the design was created by Edgars Ameriks.
The new record can be purchased in all music stores, as well as online on the website of “Jersika Records” or on the Bandcamp platform. The album can also be heard on the most popular streaming sites.