Vladimir Chekasin

Vladimir Chekasin is a unique and exceptionally colourful personality on Lithuanian jazz scene. He is his own man in everything he puts his hands and mind to, acting as a saxophonist, composer, teacher and an inexhaustible generator of innovative ideas. He can be a most rational architect of musical soundscapes and, at the same time, perform his music with utmost emotional and expressive verve. As a member of the legendary GTCh Trio in the 1970s, he is credited with establishing a Lithuanian jazz school and is regarded as a venerable guru by many generations of Lithuanian jazz musicians who have experienced his influence either directly or indirectly. Lately, he devotes most of his time to cinema as a musician, director and actor. In the meantime he collaborates with various artists and musicians from different countries in producing syncretic projects, which he describes as an ongoing 'ethnic process'. To implement his daring artistic visions he often consolidates large groups of performers.

Jūratė Kučinskaitė

 

GTCh Trio - Impression

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GTCh Trio - Impression

Petras Geniušas & Vladimir Chekasin - Fratres

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Petras Geniušas & Vladimir Chekasin - Fratres

Vladimir Chekasin Big Band - Suite Adoration

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Vladimir Chekasin Big Band - Suite Adoration

Biography

Vladimir Chekasin is a cornerstone figure in Lithuanian modern jazz, a master of various reed instruments, enriching his instrumental arsenal with keyboards, voice, elements of theatre, and anything what is necessary for his unique, large-scale polystylistic performances. He is also composer, theatre and cinema director, and exceptional teacher.

Vladimir Chekasin was born in Ekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk) in 1947. From the age of six, he studied violin and piano, later clarinet and saxophone. He is a graduate of the Ekaterinburg Music Academy.

In 1971 Vladimir Chekasin made his international debut participating at the international competition of young musicians in Prague, where he received First Prize and subsequently recorded an album "Setkani" (A Meeting) with Rudolf Dašek, Klaus Koch, Imre Mozi and Laco Tropp. Incidentally, it was the first international record ever with participation of a jazz musician from the Soviet Union.

In the same year Vladimir Chekasin moved to Lithuania and started playing with the celebrated Trio GTch (Vyacheslav Ganelin - Vladimir Tarasov - Vladimir Chekasin). His later groups also enjoyed particular success: the Vladimir Chekasin Quartet, founded in 1981, and the Big Band of the Lithuanian State Conservatory (commonly referred to as the Vladimir Chekasin Big Band), founded in 1980. The latter was a winner of Grand Prix at the Autumn Rhythms competition in 1986, and was ranked the best in the former Soviet Union more than once, while Chekasin himself was no less favoured by critics, repeatedly receiving the title of the Musician No.1, as well as first positions in different categories until the demise of Soviet Union. Together with different groups, he toured almost all European countries, as well as the USA, Canada, Cuba, Japan, India.

Since 1975 Chekasin is active as a composer of incidental music. He wrote soundtracks for more than 10 films, among them "Taxi Blues" by Pavel Lungin, which was awarded Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and "Bolero", which received First Prize for the music at the Post-Montreux '92.

Since 1994 Chekasin is involved as a composer, director and actor in the multi-disciplinary projects at the Central Artists House in Moscow, collaborating with the musicians and artists from many countries of the world.

Besides his creative activity, Vladimir Chekasin is a renowned teacher. He has created an original method of teaching jazz improvisation, the principles of which are summarized in the article "Operative Composition and Structuring", published in the papers of the pedagogical congress "Contemporary Improvisation and Jazz" held in Mönchen-Gladbach (Germany) in 1995. Since he started teaching at the Lithuanian State Conservatory and the Balys Dvarionas School of Music in 1975, Vladimir Chekasin has nurtured many present-day stars of Lithuanian jazz, including Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis, Gediminas Laurinavičius, Leonid Shinkarenko, Neda Malūnavičiūtė, Liudas Mockūnas, Skirmantas Sasnauskas, and others. Presently Vladimir Chekasin teaches at the Balys Dvarionas School of Music and the Vilnius College, and leads masterclasses throughout Europe.

In 2005 Vladimir Chekasin's achievements were recognized with the St. Christopher Prize of the City of Vilnius. He is also the recipient of the Golden Disc Award of the Lithuanian Musicians' Union and Birštonas Jazz Festival Award. In September 2013 he was honoured with medal "For Merits to Vilnius and Nation", and in October the same year – with the Vilnius Jazz Festival Award "For Contribution into Lithuanian Jazz Culture". In 2017, together with Vyacheslav Ganelin and Vladimir Tarasov, he was awarded the Lithuanian Arts and Culture Prize, the highest artistic distinction in Lithuania.

© Jūratė Kučinskaitė

With his quartets

Nostalgia
Vladimir Chekasin - sax, Oleg Molokoyedov - ky, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr
Leo Records LR 119, 1985 (LP)

The Memoirs
Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, synth, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, synth, perc, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr, perc
Melodija C60 23447 000, 1986 (LP)

Nomen Nescio
Vladimir Chekasin - sax, bcl, synth, Sergei Kuryokhin - comp, synth, Oleg Molokoyedov - synth, Sergei Belichenko - dr
Melodija C60 26197, 1989 (LP)

Fortune Teller
Vladimir Chekasin - sax, Oleg Molokoyedov - ky, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr + Valentina Ponomareva - voc
Leo Records LR 136, 1986 (LP)

Intrusion
Vladimir Chekasin - sax, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr + Valentina Ponomareva - voc, and others
Leo Records LR 156, 1988 (LP)
Leo Records GY 401-404, 2001 (CD)

Antishow
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, Vytautas Labutis - reeds, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, Arvydas Jofė - dr
Leo Records LR 145, 1988 (LP)
Leo Records GY 413-416, 2003 (CD)

Bolero-2, or Provincial Melodrama with Emotional Throw Back
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, p, perc, Vytautas Labutis - reeds, perc, Yury Kuznetsov - ky, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc
SoLyd Records SLR 0016, 1994 (CD)

Second Siberian Concert
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, Oleg Molokoyedov - ky, acc, Sergei Panasenko - b, perc, Sergei Belichenko - dr, perc
Ermatel Records JSD 003, 1994 (CD)

As a leader of big band

Konstantin Petrosyan: Concerto for Voice and Orchestra
Tatevik Oganesyan - voc + Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Melodija C60 24479 009, 1986 (LP)

New Vitality
Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Leo Records LR 142, 1986 (LP)

Is This Possible?
Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Melodija C60 25691 009, 1987 (LP)

As a member of Trio GTCh

Trio Wiaczesława Ganielina
Pronit Z-SX0628, 1976 (LP)

Con anima
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, synth, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, Vladimir Chekasin - reeds
Melodija C60 07361 2, 1977 (LP)
Sonore Records SN 0014, 1995 (CD)
Leo Records GY 015, 2001 (CD)

Catalogue
Leo Records LR 102, 1980 (LP)
Leo Records CDLR 102, 1993 (CD)

Concerto grosso
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, g, tb, perc, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, tp, Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, v
Melodija C60 14433 4, 1981 (LP)
Sonore Records SN 0015, 1995 (CD)
Leo Records GY 015, 2001 (CD)

Con fuoco
Leo Records LR 106, 1981 (LP)

Ancora da capo
Leo Records LR 108-109, 1982 (LP)
Supraphon 1115 3014H, 1986 (LP)
Leo Records CDLR 108, 1997 (CD)

Poi seque
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, synth, g, tp, fl, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, fl, Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, tb, fl, perc, v
Melodija C60 17485 006, 1982 (LP)
East Wind Records 20647, 1986 (MC)
Sonore Records SN 0016, 1995 (CD)

Non troppo
Enja Records 4036, 1983 (LP)
Hat Hut Records 2027, 1985 (LP)
Leo Records CDLR 112, 1995 (CD)

New Wine...
Leo Records LR 112, 1983 (LP)
Leo Records CDLR 112, 1995 (CD)

VIDE
Leo Records LR 117, 1983 (LP)
Leo Records GY 413-416, 2003 (CD)

Semplice
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, synth, hn, perc, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, Vladimir Chekasin - as, tb, rec, perc
Melodija C60 21121 009, 1984 (LP)
Sonore Records SN 0018, 1995 (CD)

Strictly for Our Friends
Leo Records LR 120, 1984 (LP)
Leo Records GY 013, 2001 (CD)

Baltic Triangle
Leo Records LR 125, 1985 (LP)
Leo Records GY 413-416, 2003 (CD)

Con affetto
Leo Records LR 137, 1985 (LP)
Leo Records GY 002, 1999 (CD)

Ttaango... in Nickelsdorf
Leo Records LR 400-401, 1986 (LP)
Leo Records GY 018-019, 2002 (CD)

A Concert in Moscow
Trio GTCh + Mario Schiano - as
Free Records FR 00786, 1986 (LP)

Poco a poco
Leo Records CDLR 101, 1988 (CD)

Opuses
Trio GTCh + guests: Mika Markovich - dr, Victor Fonarev - b, Uri Abramowich - voc
Leo Records CDLR 171, 1990 (CD)

San Francisco Holidays
Trio GTCh + ROVA Saxophone Quartet
Leo Records CDLR 208-209, 1992 (CD)

Encores
Leo Records CDLR 106, 1994 (CD)

15-year Reunion: Live at Frankfurt Book Fair
Leo Records CDLR 375, 2003 (CD)

As a duo member

3 - 1 = 3
Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, Vyacheslav Ganelin - ky
Leo Records LR 410-411, 1988 (LP)

1 + 1 = 3
Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc
Leo Records LR 160, 1989 (LP)
Leo Records GY 413-416, 2003 (CD)

As a group member and guest musician

Setkani
Vladimir Chekasin - as, cl, Rudolf Dašek - g, Klaus Koch - b, Imre Mozi - b, Laco Tropp - dr
Supraphon 115 1308, 1973 (LP)

Exercises
Vladimir Chekasin - cl, as, voc, perc, g, Sergei Kuryokhin - p, voc, perc, fl, Boris Grebenshchikov - g, voc, perc
Leo Records LR 806, 1983 (LP)

Red & Blue
Sebi Tramontana - tb, Mario Schiano - sax, Vladimir Chekasin - sax, Vladimir Tarasov - dr
Splasc(h) Records HP 15, 1988 (LP)

Valentina Ponomareva: Live in Japan
Valentina Ponomareva - voc, John Zorn - reeds, Bill Laswell - b, Sergei Kuryokhin - p, synth, Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, Yuji Takahashi - synth, Ayno Takahashi - g, Haruna Miyake - p, Kazutoki Umezu - reeds
Leo Records CDLR 175, 1991 (CD)

Christmas Rhapsody: Snow Children Meet Vladimir Chekasin
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, synth, Oleg Molokoyedov - ky, tp, Sergei Belichenko - dr, perc, Anton Barakhovsky - v, Mikhail Barakhovsky - tp, Vladimir Tolkachyov - as, Vladimir Timofeev - bs, Vladimir Vysotin - vibr, mar, timp
Ermatel Records 002, 1994 (CD)

The Man I Love
Danguolė Klimas - voc, v, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, Vladimir Chekasin - saxes
Bonifa, 1996 (MC)

Live in Graz
Cercle a due: Dieter Glawischnig - p, Andreas Schreiber - v, Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, Ewald Oberleitner - b, Vladimir Tarasov - dr
Extraplatte EX 579-2, 2004 (CD)

In compilations

Jazz Jamboree-76 (1)
"Poco a poco" (fragment)
Trio GTCh
Muza SX-1454, 1977 (LP)

Tbilisi-78
"Ex libris" (fragment)
Trio GTCh
Melodija C60 14319 20, 1980 (LP)

Jazz Bühne Berlin-79
"Catalogue" (fragment)
Trio GTCh
Amiga 8 55 749, 1980 (LP)

Jazz-82 (2)
"Mack the Knife"
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, ky, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, Vladimir Chekasin - as
Melodija C60 19123 006, 1983 (LP)

Autumn Rhythms-83 (1)
"Lento"
Trio GTCh
Melodija C60 21537 000, 1985 (LP)

Autumn Rhythms-83 (2)
"The Memoirs" (fragment)
Vladimir Chekasin Quartet: Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, synth, perc, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, synth, perc, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, perc, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr, perc
Melodija C60 21539 005, 1985 (LP)

Bratislava Jazz Days-85
"Non troppo" (fragment)
Trio GTCh
Opus OE 5011 3115-1810-11, 1986 (LP)

Autumn Rhytms-85 (2)
"Dialogues"
Vladimir Chekasin - ss, ky, Oleg Molokoyedov - ky, tp, dr
Melodija C60-24015 002, 1986 (LP)

Birštonas-86 (2)
Vladimir Chekasin. "Concerto for Jazz Orchestra" (fragment)
Petras Vyšniauskas - bs + Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Melodija C60 25057 004, 1987 (LP)

Autumn Rhytms-86
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, Leonid Chizik - p
Melodija C60-25587, 1987 (LP)

New Music from Russia: The '80s
Konstantin Petrosyan. "Concerto for Voice and Orchestra" (fragment)
Tatevik Oganesyan - voc + Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
"Exercises"
Vladimir Chekasin - cl, as, voc, perc, g, Sergei Kuryokhin - p, voc, perc, fl, Boris Grebenshchikov - g, voc, perc
"New Wine..." (fragment)
Vyacheslav Ganelin - synth, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, Vladimir Chekasin - saxes
"Solo and Duo in Blue"
Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, Oleg Molokoyedov - p
Leo Records CDLR 801-808, 1989 (CD)

Conspiracy: Soviet Jazz Festival - Zürich
"Memories" (fragment)
Vladimir Chekasin Quartet: Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, synth, voc, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, synth, tp, Vytautas Labutis - reeds, synth, Arvydas Jofė - dr
Leo Records CDLR 809-812, 1989 (CD)

Lithuanian Jazz 1929-1980
"No Moon At All"
Vladimir Chekasin Quartet: Vladimir Chekasin - as, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, Aleksandr Likhachyov - b, Mika Markovich - dr
"Mezi tichem a tmou"
Vladimir Chekasin - as, cl, Rudolf Dašek - g, Klaus Koch - b, Imre Mozi - b, Laco Tropp - dr
"Ex libris" / "Ad libitum" / "Poco a poco" / "Con anima" / "Live in Lithuanian State Philharmonic Hall" (all fragments) / "Who Is Afraid of Anthony Braxton" / "Umtza-Umtza"
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, synth, perc, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, perc, Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, voice, perc
Semplice SECD011, 2003 (CD)

Free Spirits: Jazz from Lithuania 2005
"Impression" (fragment)
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, synth, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, whistles, voc
Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre LMIPCCD 026, 2005 (CD)

Lithuanian Jazz 1980-1990
"Mack the Knife"
Vyacheslav Ganelin - p, ky, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, Vladimir Chekasin - as
"Is this possible?" (fragments)
Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Konstantin Petrosyan. "Concerto for Voice and Orchestra" (fragments)
Tatevik Oganesyan - voc + Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
"The Memoirs" (fragments)
Vladimir Chekasin Quartet: Vladimir Chekasin - reeds, synth, perc, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, synth, perc, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, perc, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr, perc
Semplice SECD014, 2005 (CD)

Laureates of the "Birštonas" Jazz Festivals
Vladimir Chekasin. "Paraphrase on Various Themes" (fragment)
Vladimir Chekasin - saxes, voc, Arina - voc, Liudas Mockūnas - saxes, Oleg Molokoyedov - p, tp, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Gediminas Laurinavičius - dr, perc, Linas Būda - dr
Vladimir Chekasin. "Concerto for Jazz Orchestra" (fragment)
Vladimir Chekasin Big Band
Birštonas' Cultural Centre, 2005 (CD)

 

Jazzy Vilnius

"Fantasy on the Theme of Prokofiev's Sarcasm"

Vladimir Chekasin - sax, Petras Geniušas - p

"Suite Adoration" (fragment)

Vladimir Chekasin Big Band, Vladimir Chekasin - p, Vytautas Labutis - sax, Leonid Shinkarenko - b, Arvydas Jofė - dr, perc

Judita Bartoševičienė VMJ 002, 2007 (CD)

As a performer of academic music

Antanas Rekašius: Anniversary Concert
"Solar Plexuses"
Vladimir Chekasin - fl, cl, sax, Vladimir Tarasov - dr, chamber group of the Lithuanian State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, cond. Juozas Domarkas
Melodija C10 13699 700, 1980 (LP)

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