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KOSTAREV GROUP

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Russia


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Kostarev Group biography
Alexander Kostarev is a unique Russian guitarist (also producer and sound engineer ). He began his musical career in the late 70s in Sverdlovsk (Ekaterinburg now), playing with Jazz- and Art-rock bands. Later he became known as a solid multi-genre professional musician (he played and recorded almost any kind of music one can imagine). His green guitar is also a matter of interest : one of the longest in the world, with a recognizable sound of its own.
The 'Kostarev Group' started in 1997 as 'Alexander Kostarev's Quadraphonic Sound Theatre' with Ekaterina Morozova on keyboards, Roman Bobrovsky on drums and Alexander Kostarev on guitar (the name then was changed to 'KosMoBob', and later to 'Kostarev Group') The band released only a live CD and a rarities' compilation (both available for free download via their site!). The first album 'Vegetarian' was recorded in 2000-2001, mixed only in 2006 and is not yet published. In 2002 the band (with addition of flute, violin and bassoon) presented a new program : 'Concerto Grosso'. In 2003 a live performance in Moscow at the 'InProg 2003 Progressive Rock Fest' has been recorded and released on an independent label and in 2006 the compilation 'Kostarev Works 1978-2006' (combining studio and live materials) was released.
You should check them out to become aware of their high class instrumental Fusion (with an Avant and/or Symphonic Prog basis mostly).
Recommended!

=== Prog-Jester(Igor Sidorenko) ===




Discography:
'Live at InProg2003' (2003)
'Kostarev Works 1978-2006' (2006)

Kostarev Group official website

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KOSTAREV GROUP discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KOSTAREV GROUP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Kosmobob: Vegetarian
2012

KOSTAREV GROUP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.22 | 12 ratings
Live@InProg 2003
2003

KOSTAREV GROUP Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KOSTAREV GROUP Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 13 ratings
Works 1978-2006
2006

KOSTAREV GROUP Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

KOSTAREV GROUP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live@InProg 2003 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Live, 2003
4.22 | 12 ratings

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Live@InProg 2003
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Alexander Kostarev is a lesser-known Russian instrumental musician,who's career started back in late 70's but became widely known only through this millenium.The roots of his group can be found back in mid-80's,but the fact is that it has changed so many names and line-ups,that its almost impossible to clarify the full history of the band.Fortunately his work was finally known through this Starless Records' live release from 2003.

Fusion becomes a meaningful word just by listening to this album.Kostarev's instrumental group blends Jazz,Classical,Ethnic and Avant-Garde Music in an awesome rockin' way.A full hour of a totally challenging journey through complex passages,energetic grooves,dynamic interplays and peaceful melodies.Actually the 2/3 of the album are closer to the jazzier side of Prog Rock with dominant violins,freaky flutes,harmonic organ sounds,deep bass lines and the highlight performance of Kostarev on guitars with also some Avant-like electronics and a mix of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA,DR. DOPO JAM and FRANK ZAPPA would be close to reality.The last 1/3 of the album is the long epic Concerto Grosso,where organs,violins and flutes blend in a Classical mix to offer a sweet rock symphony,which at times is paused by Kostarev's fusion-esque edgy guitar work in full collaboration with the other instrumentation.I could tell the man trully teaches how a long instrumental epic can catch the listener from the very first to the last minute.

The least I can do for this overlooked musician is spreading his music by reviewing this album.Kostarev's works deserve so much more for being totally inventive,complicated and andventuruous but at the same time focused and inspired,and anyone calling himself a serious music fan should simply check this album out...4 solid stars.

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 Works 1978-2006 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.48 | 13 ratings

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Works 1978-2006
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The second release by Kostarev since his debut as an artist in 1978 really is something else.

In reverse chronological order we're presented with 10 examples of his music; where spacey compositions are performed in avant-garde manner, influences from jazz and classical music mixed with slight folk leanings and rock in a witches brew of offbeat rhythms and patterns.

The last two tunes on this album is something completely different, one short track with an extreme form of improvisational jazz, followed by an almost 14 minutes long improvisational piece mixing structured and melodic jazz improvisation with wild and untamed free-form segments.

Skilled peformance, and one to seek out by fans of avant-garde and similar types of highly experimental music.

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 Works 1978-2006 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.48 | 13 ratings

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Works 1978-2006
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Vibrationbaby

4 stars An overview of instrumental material from Russian guitar wizard Alexander Kostarev from 1978 to 2006 with various lineups of devastatingly talented back up musicians. Oddly enough this overlooked musical genius has had only two releases in a career that has spanned over the better part of three decades and how his creative intellect has gone largely unnoticed just makes one shake their head. Well, if anything this synopsis of material, largely from the vaults that never saw the light of day, will hopefully set the record straight as a proper release of studio recordings is anxiously awaited.

Fusing a wide spectrum of musical ideas Kostarev`s brand of fusion is unique and compleytely "out there" and must be heard to be believed. Medievalisms, free form jazz, folk, baroque and 1000 MPH angular electric guitar riffing are some ingredients which have made up his frenzied, frantic style over the past 30 years or so. Madness would be another word for it. The best example of this can be heard on the earliest track from 1978 , " No Fear " which is a live freeform jam which starts out in a pretty standard way with woodwinds, a trumpet and some nice Thelonious-like piano but then burns itself into a wah wahed out guitar/violin meltdown with everyone else just losing it and going completely nuts.

The music can also be dramatic, sub-dued and straight-forward as in the comparatively laid back , "A Whole Lotta Patience", which features smooth keyboards and has hints of flamenco in Kostarev`s fluid guitar work. 1995`s "Turn-A- Round" is also interesting in a dark way with it`s programmed slow tempo drum machine and wacked out electronic effects. It sort of reminds one of a parade of gouls doing some sort of macabre dance. " Pilgrim " from the same year conveys similar spooky impressions but with more eclecticism. "Grass Of Blue" from 1985 moves into avant garde territory and is even more experimental with sequenced strange resonating electronic effects produced by both keyboards and Kostarev`s guitar. Oddly enough these earlier tracks make up the second half of the disc and the quality of these recordings are flawed in various ways. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the shear adventurous nature of the music.

The first five tracks are more definitive of the Kostarev group in it`s present form having since 1997 gone through a few name changes from Alexander Kostarev`s Quadraphonic Sound Theatre to KosMoBob to Kostarev Group. They define their present music as " time fusion", music through which the listener can experience the last 4 centuries simultaneously. With the additions of a violin, flute, saxophone, cello they accomplish this quite effectively and the track Menuetto #3 which is a section from a larger composition, Concerto Grosso # 1 which can be heard in it`s entirety on their Live@InProg2003 CD. The other darker themed tracks "A-theist Hacker" with it`s art/science/religion conotations, the apocalyptic " Heavy Water" and the mezmerizing " Hoop" all feature Katerina Morozova`s ominously effective multi layered synth/keyboard/phantom bass treatments which give a deep contrast to great effect with Kostarev`s lightning speed guitar barrages. This newer music is tight and fast and at times can remind the listener of music from U.K. or some of Bruford`s early solo work with Alan Holdsworth and Jeff Berlin. The first track here is actually a cover of an Eddie Jobson composition entitled " who`s Flying Over Me " and also appears on an Eddie Jobson tribute album.

Until Kostarev Group`s first studio album, to be titled "Vegatarian" which was actually completed in 2001, is released in the near future this disc, along with their Live@InProg 2003, serve as precious documents of an overlooked musician of immeasurable calibre and the music he has created over the past 30 years. Simply mind blowing stuff.

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 Live@InProg 2003 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Live, 2003
4.22 | 12 ratings

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Live@InProg 2003
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progadicto

5 stars What a nice surpirse! Alexander Kostarev Group is one of the most freak things that I've heard the last months!

First of all, is not difficult to get this album cos is available officially in AKG webpage. Second, if you are a fusion and/or avant garde/RIO fan, this album wouldn't disspoint you. A short folk Intro opens the way to some weird compositions with emphasys on great keyboard, violin and guitar solos and a tense and powerful and syncopated rhyhmical bases. Of course you can also find extraordinary mixtures of really avant garde sections a la Happy Family, distorted keyboards and guitars whit rhythmical sections specially on the first part of the album. My highlights here are: Vegetarian (weird, chaotic, tense), Heavy Water (great rhythmical base), Purgatory (oriental inffluences) and A-theist Hacker (another great piece with avant garde inffluences and an awsome flute work)

The second part is a long piece called Concerto Grosso #1. Is divided in five parts and it's a little more proggy and the band sometimes even sound like a chamber orchestra. However the solos still are powerful and complex and some calm moments are followed immediatly by freaky fusion or avant garde sections.

A great discover. Wonderful and surprising album which deserves all the attention of prog fans. 4.5*

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 Works 1978-2006 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.48 | 13 ratings

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Works 1978-2006
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Compilation albums are rarely interesting. They are usually die-hard-fans-only fancies and feature 1-2 good songs to listen to. Russians are known for being an exception from most rules, and – what a frantic situation! – they’ve confirmed this statement with another exception. This is KOSTAREV GROUP’s rare and unreleased stuff, and it is amazing.

First of all, don’t be afraid of losing your sacred bucks on a pile of who-knows-what. Both CDs released by the band, available for FREE DOWNLOADING VIA THEIR WEB-SITE, so go ahead, download and enjoy. Second, with 30 years spent in world of Music, Kostarev didn’t release a single studio album yet! So here you can find 13-min long poor quality jazzy jam from 1978 recorded live, some tracks, that were prepared for albums that never saw the light of day in mid-90s, some tracks from InProg perfomance from 2003 (the whole show was released as a live album) and other miscellaneous and assorted things (like astonishing Eddie Jobson’s cover that opens the album). As a whole it sounds almost like a concept instrumental album, varied and challenging.

Dunno who can get close to KOSTAREV BAND in a matter of performing and writing. Leave this problem to someone else. Better get yourself their stuff and enjoy it. Happy listening – feedbacks are more than welcome!

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 Live@InProg 2003 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Live, 2003
4.22 | 12 ratings

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Live@InProg 2003
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I guess it was a chance for me to step out for a while. I mean I got a reputation of Russian/Post-USSR Prog-Rock devotee, and sometimes this works against me :). So I let few people review KOSTAREV’s works before my pipers would sing halleluiahs to him and his long green thing. Yes, I meant guitar baby ;).

OK, here we have high-class fusion with elements from almost every genre of contemporary music – from cold academic passages to almost dub beats and metal riffing. Kostarev doesn’t overshine all the time, shadowing the rest of the band. You can easily recognize outstanding level of other musicians’ skills and unique signature of band’s songwriting talents. All tracks are played live, without any overdubs and cleanings; you can hear the crowd going mad from what these men doing with them. I’m afraid I won’t name any band musically close to what Alexander and Co are playing. FROMUZ? DJAM KARET? LIQUID TENSION? I’m too new to a genre to judge, but all I know is that it sounds unbelievably fresh and mind-blowing. Shame they have limited opportunities to spread their music and earn their living from it. On the other side, both albums are available FREE TO DOWNLOAD VIA THEIR WEB-SITE!!! This is the Art for the Art’s sake.

Pure enjoyment and extremely recommended hour of music to waste your life and money on ;). Give up hesitation and load few songs first. Than write me a thankful PM and got everything KOSTAREV GROUP has released (hope they’ll manage to make a studio album soon). Good luck in that and keep on…ermm, fusionin’!

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 Live@InProg 2003 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Live, 2003
4.22 | 12 ratings

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Live@InProg 2003
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Vibrationbaby

5 stars RUSSIAN FREAK FUSION

Incorporating everything from folky medievalisms to wacked out phase-shifted cosmic guitar riffing to maniacal screeching violin and frantic flute this live recording of the Kostarev Group goes everywhere and beyond and redefines the art of the musical spectrum. Veering off into free form explorations with their zany instrumental pyrotechnics the listener is nevertheless constantly reminded that these guys ( and girl ) have a bottomless pit of artistic depth with the ghosts of everyone from Hendrix to Vivaldi dropping in when least expected. In fact, everything here happens when least expected! Devoid of vocals, a phantom like synth bass also replaces the bass guitar throughout which adds to all the wonderful weirdness. An east indian tabla apears on a couple of tracks as well, complementing the tight accented drumming which is sort of like a voice in itself amidst all the mayhem.

The first part of the performance consists of a series of compositions on which each sends out it`s own individual message. The pulsating synths from keyboard sorceress Ekatrina Morosova who looks more like an olympic figure skating coach than a member of an loud fusion band are used in a very ubiquitous yet ostenatious fashion. She has an arsenal if tricks up her sleave which just go fom wierd to weirder which paint canvases for the outrageous art which is to occur on each with fuzz-guitar/flute/violin and saxophone exchanges in fluctuating time signatures and tempos.

The almost sinister upbeat Heavy Water, seems to warn, musically, of an impending nuclear tragedy with it`s ominous aquatic like effects, while the hypnotic Oasis is enhanced by the mystical tabla rythmns of Gennadiy Laurentiv which create ethereal hedonistic images. Equally as moody are the intros to Pugatory and Vegetarian which contain tons of weird synth effects. On Purgatory the spooky howling effects will either send shivers down your spine or make you smile deviously. A-theist Hacker has art/religion conotations as explained unclearly by group leader Alexander Kostarev, but it`s as crazy as jazz fusion can get nonetheless.

The album culminates with a Concerto in 5 movements, Concerto Grosso #1, which invites the listener to imagine a 17th century Italian composer, frozen for centuries in an alpine glacier who is brought back from the dead and given the resources and knowledge of a modern day 21st century composer. The result is a confused artist who is torn between the music of his day and the exciting new developments which have occured during his slumber in netherworld. An initial neo classical theme is stated which is revisited throughout the work and almost goes into instant modern day overdrive with an abrupt tempo change which introduces Kostarevs overdriven flanged out speed guitar which shows our composers desire to łtilize his new tools. The composer becomes inebriated and overcome by his creation and the second movement becomes more pathetic and melancholic as it progresseses. By the third movement the listener becomes more and more convinced that this piece was actually written by an ecclectic 17th century Italian composer recently returned from the dead rather than a 21st century Russian avante garde musical troupe. And it just keeps getting weirder and well... more weirder by the 4th movement, which has the most coherent and melodic guitar on the whole album. As one would expect the Finale is not just a finale but a grand blowout of a finale with a freeform freakout by all the players with everything turned louder than everything else which ends of with a brief statement of the original theme presented at the beginning.

Experimental and esoteric, Kostarev Live@InProg 2003 is a feat of modern composition and musicianship while maintaining an old fashioned mindset. Distant comparisons could be made to 70`s bands like Gentle Giant or Hoelderlin but Kostarev Group is light years beyond any of the two. Strap yourself into the ejection seat for this mind numbing journey into musical oblivion.Eye watering brilliance.

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 Live@InProg 2003 by KOSTAREV GROUP album cover Live, 2003
4.22 | 12 ratings

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Live@InProg 2003
Kostarev Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Vegetarians are arriving the Oasis ...

Alexander Kostarev has worked out elaborated songs and the band is performing them excellently. Recorded live February 2003 in Moscow this is Jazz Rock with an Avantgarde attitude and some Symphonic injections. First we have to state an interesting mix of instruments - besides the 'usual' there are also violin, harmonica, flute and saxophon. Kostarev's squeezing and squeaking guitar is obvious and well corresponding to Lavrentiev's violin.

Vegetarian is fusion at its best with confident keyboard playing. I also recommend to have a look at the video from their website. Every musician gets enough room for soloing - amazing. Heavy Water is heavy grooving. Kostarev proves that he's also a good harmonica player. A very dynamic song with a special guitar and violin duel (Lavrentiev wins in my opinion!). Purgatory with its asian rhythm and tabla using remembers me at an OLE LUKKOYE concert which I had the chance to enjoy some years ago. Oasis - I like this song very much - listening to this relaxed slowtempo piece it's a feeling like riding on a camel across the desert - a successful interpretation!

A-Theist Hacker is a song which I haven't fully explored until now. Please give me 10 other rounds or so - the only thing I can say - absolutely crazy! The Concerto Grosso closes - a suite with five sections which is more Symphonic oriented (as the titles promise). The band gives all the power to celebrate this. A complex and explosive blend referring to RIO/Avant. The same as with the song before - it needs several rehearsals to get in touch with

Another russian gem which inspires the genre. At first I'm giving four stars with tendency to five. Actually the whole recordings are free for download from the website. In spite of the fact this recordings are restored from cassette tape the sound quality is very good. So if you are interested in listening to excellent Jazz Rock/Fusion with transitions to RIO/Avant don't be shy - otherwise you'll miss the train.

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