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Catching Up with Leo, Part 1

18 January 2012 9:19 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Leo Records was founded in 1979 by Leo Feigin, a Russian who had emigrated to England. Early in its history, back before the glasnost era, it was most noted for releasing avant-garde Russian jazz at a time when government authorities discouraged the style. As Alexander Alexandrov of Moscow Composers Orchestra says, "What the authorities really hated was free jazz and improvised music – for the reason we loved it, because it was a powerful symbol of individual freedom." Although somehow the Ganelin Trio's first album came out on the official Soviet record label, Melodiya, it was the group's many albums on Leo that earned both the band and Leo world-wide reputations.

Eventually Leo expanded enough that it even had offshoots: Leo Lab for new artists, Golden Years of New Jazz for vintage material. Especially notable from the latter are four superb four-cd sets comprising a series entitled Golden Years of the Soviet »

- SteveHoltje

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1 item from 2012


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