Wednesday 26 January 2022

'Altered Feelings' by Max Kochetov Quartet

'Altered Feelings' marks the brand new album release by the Max Kochetov Quartet released via Italy's A.MA Records.

For his first release with A.MA, saxophonist Max Kochetov unveils a hugely ambitious project that sees him and his wonderful team of musicians present a 42 minute suite of tracks split over eight compositions.  Recorded live - and in one take - at Serbia's FNS Studio between the 7-9th June 2021, this inspired perspective lends itself to an equally inspired narrative that embraces varying styles and genres as its respective story progresses.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, and eventually moving to Serbia in his early-20s, Kochetov gravitated to the saxophone from a young age which saw him study at the R. Glier Kyiv Institute of Music and then serve as a member for a few years with the Ukranian ska, punk and folk rock band, Mad Heads XL.  After moving to Serbia, Kochetov secured a coveted spot as the lead saxophonist amongst the line-up of the RTS Big Band (Big Band of Radio Television Serbia) in 2010 before going on to form his first quartet in 2013.  This incarnation of the Max Kochetov Quartet saw their first independent release in 2014 with the 7-track project '13:30' which saw Kochetov also assume the role of the album's producer and composer.

Now backed by a new formation of Quartet members including pianist Andreja Hristic, drummer Milos Grbatinic and Boris Sainovic on the double bass, 'Altered Feelings' is representative of Kochetov's fascinating evolution as an artist and a band leader in his own right.  

There are concepts and ideas executed throughout 'Altered Feelings' that are not just bold but also brilliantly conceived and realised.  From the joyous swing of 'Groovin', the romance of 'Rhetorical Morning', the lament of 'Waltz' and the aptly-titled 'Sultry Requiem', each track showcases another gleaming perspective from the project fusing all of these incredible facets together.  The near ten minutes of the album's title track warrants special mention for its impassioned playing throughout making it an excellent centrepiece to the project.

The first full-length release from A.MA Records this year kicks what is sure to be another fantastic year for the label off perfectly - 'Altered Feelings' embodies so much of the creativity attributed to A.MA's ever-expanding roster and is a brilliant project to introduce listeners to the boundless talents of Max Kochetov.

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