At a time of great political and social uncertainty, the dynamic post-cold war partnership of the Russian Federation's Oleg Kireyev (tenor saxophone) and U.S.’s Keith Javors (piano) continues to inspire jazz audiences around the globe. The co-leaders recently welcomed jazz trumpet luminary Tom Harrell, the heralded bassist Ben Williams (Pat Metheny), and the creative drummer E.J. Strickland (Ravi Coltrane) to the studio for their dynamic upcoming release, entitled The Meeting, available on May 31, 2016. (iTunes and Google Play preorder begins May 3.) The new record bridges the influences of two continents, featuring new original compositions by Kireyev and Javors, interspersed with standard material. The deluxe physical-only version of the album includes two additional alternate tracks and liner notes by Howard Mandel.
A chance internet meeting would evolve into something spectacular. Kireyev and Javors' association began in 2007 when Kireyev's manager reached out to Javors through the Internet with the possibility of a gig at the Union of Composers Club in Russia, where Kireyev is Artistic Director. An instant chemistry was noticed and a friendship forged, one that would inevitably result in numerous American and European Tours. In addition to performances at numerous world class clubs such as Smalls, the Iridium, Blues Alley, Chris' Jazz Cafe, and many others, Kireyev and Javors were together featured at the prestigious International House of Music in Moscow, one of the premiere concert venues in Europe.
Their flourishing partnership was first sonically documented on the April 13, 2010 release of Rhyme & Reason, featuring Oleg Kireyev & Keith Javors alongside bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer E.J. Strickland. The record received much critical acclaim from major music writers and charted on the JazzWeek World charts for several consecutive weeks. The tandem’s new effort follows up on its success with a set that is as equally if not more captivating and creative, with model support from Harrell, Williams, and Strickland.
Now on the advent of their this, their sophomore project together, Oleg Kireyev & Keith Javors know, now more than ever, the significance of that chance internet meeting, and it shows in the faces of enthusiastic and involved audience members. While each day performing together is a meeting of sorts, Kireyev and Javors now see it as a blessing. Privileged now to draw from the deep talents of an All-Star NYC rhythm section and a lauded trumpet icon, the tandem continue to push the jazz envelope and promote unity wherever they play.
Oleg Kireyev is an internationally-recognized musician, touring frequently and playing to appreciative audiences in Europe and the U.S. Having undertaken many innovative and provocative international jazz projects in a performing career spanning three decades, The Express and Star says Kireyev is “a Russian sax player with a reputation for hard swing and high excitement”. “Incredibly good”, “Soft and enthusiastic” and “Stylish and top-notch” are all phrases music critics have written about his voice on saxophone. He has performed at the London Jazz Festival, the New York Jazz Improv Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival, to name a few. Legendary musician Bud Shank says: "Oleg's playing is a marvelous combination of styles, incorporating a whole lot of players. I hear echoes of the 1920’s and John Coltrane combined with unstructured jazz."
Keith Javors is an iconoclastic figure on today’s international music scene, rare in his accomplishments as dually a producer and artist as well as an award-winning educator. Known for his “technical virtuosity, a riveting compositional style, and constant creativity” (AllAboutJazz), Javors is a true musicians’ musician, possessive of extraordinary versatility and a riveting ballad style. His performance credits include eight albums as a leader and appearances at venues such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and numerous others. As Bill Milkowski writes in Jazz Times, “Javors distinguishes himself as a bandleader intent on collective envelope-pushing.”