Both Kinds Of Music
Misha Feigin – balalaika, classical guitar in Duos with: Elliot Sharp – dobro | Davey Williams – electric guitar | LaDonna Smith – violin, dancing on a wooden box | Craig Hultgren – cello | Eugene Chadbourne – banjo, guitar
Track 1 & 4 recorded by Elliot Sharp at his home studio in New York; 2 & 5 recorded by John Metro at the Birmingham Arts Association, Alabama; 3 recorded by Sam Gray at the Ramcat Studio in Louisville, Kentucky; 7 recorded at the concert at the Rietschule, Bern, Switzerland. All pieces are improvised, and recorded during 1998. All music by Misha Feigin (BMI) published by Alissa Publishing/PRS. Mastered by Stan Wijnans, LMC Sound. Front cover collage by Misha Feigin. Photo by Oli Jensen. Produced by Leo Feigin.
Tracklist: 1. Both Kinds of Music – [12’02] Misha Feigin – balalaika, Elliot Sharp – dobro 2. Balalaikofrenia – [4’29] Misha Feigin – balalaika, Davey Williams – electric guitar, LaDonna Smith – dancing on a big wooden box 3. Moondance – [9’39] Misha Feigin – classical guitar, Craig Hultgren – cello 4. Zohar Cafe Blues – [3’46] Misha Feigin – balalaika, Elliot Sharp – dobro 5. BBQ-Powered Mission to Outer Space -[11’37] Misha Feigin – classical guitar, Davey Williams – electric guitar 6. String Theory Revisited – [11 ’54] Misha Feigin – classical guitar, LaDonna Smith – violin 7. A Meter Violation – [16’27] Misha Feigin – classical guitar, balalaika, Eugene Chadbourne – banjo, guitar | Total time: 69’56
listen to Misha Feigin & Davey Williams & LaDonna Smith | Balalaikofrenia
“Both kinds of music” refers, of course, to “Country” and “Western”. Rediscovering country music has been something the avant garde has enjoyed doing in a tongue-in-cheek, knowingly urban way for decades, but more recently something less deliberately parodic has been going on between the two seemingly incommensurable genres. The Bubbadinos certainly play some species of white American folk music, but it’s hardly Nashville, and Misha Feigin is a free improvising Russian Balalaika player; it’s not even clear which kinds of music are being played, exactly, any more. — Richard Cochrane
If you’ve never heard a free-style jazz duet between a balalaika and a dobro, and you have a desire to do so, this CD should appeal to you. Actually, this is much more than a novelty album, as Feigin strums his guitar-like balalaika and classical guitar through seven jazz duets with Elliot Sharp (dobro), Davey Williams (electric guitar), Craig Hultgren (cello), LaDonna Smith (violin), and Eugene Chadbourne (banjo and guitar). The star billing is entirely appropriate, as each track is a stunning display of string improvisation. There is lots of variety as not only do the instruments and players alternate, but so do the free improvisations. Surprisingly accessible and at times even soothing, there is plenty of stridency, too. The duel with Hultgren is a particular highlight, as the violinist dances gingerly, without missing a step. Feigin (no relation to Leo Feigin, the producer) is strong throughout and a perfect partner. — Steve Loewy
For those who enjoy dobro and balalaika instrumentation, this jazz CD of 69:56 minutes will both intrigue and delight. That Misha Feigin is a master of his instrument is very evident in this collection. Feigin has duos with Elliot Sharp on dobro, Davey Williams on electric guitar, LaDonna Smith on violin (and dancing on a wooden box!), Craig Hultgren on cello, and Eugene Chadbourne on guitar and banjo. Some of the song titles include, among others, “Both Kinds of Music,” “Balaiaikofrenia,” “Moondance,” and “Zohar Cafe Blues.” Misha Feigin is one of the most well-known balalaika performers in the world, and this CD highlights those fine musical gifts. — Lee Prosser