Квадро (Quadro) was the first jazz-rock band I ever heard live. Also, it was the band I heard live more times than any other, back in my student days. Now, at long last, I have this music on a CD, once again thanks to now defunct label Boheme Music.
The CD entitled Ночные мечты (Night Dreams) is a compilation. Tracks 1 through 8 were recorded in 1987 and previously appeared on a vinyl LP (Мелодия, 1989), which was also named Ночные мечты. The line-up consisted of Vyacheslav Gorsky (keyboards), Dmitri Chetvergov (guitar), Eugene Maystrovsky (drums) and Sergey Nikolayev (bass). In the characteristic Boheme Music style, the CD includes eight of nine original LP tracks; why Прелюдия (Prelude) was left out, is anyone’s guess. The rest of the tracks feature Anatoli Kulikov on bass, which means that they were recorded prior to his 1986 return to the Alexey Kozlov’s band Арсенал (Arsenal). (The liner notes say Kulikov plays on tracks 8—17 but I strongly suspect this is a mistake; it has to be 9—17.)
Now Kulikov is one of my electric jazz bass heroes. I was lucky enough to see him performing with both Quadro and Arsenal. In my view, this second half of the CD is the best material Quadro ever recorded. It includes two compositions by Kulikov, Робот and Воспоминание о рок-н-ролле; the latter used to be Kulikov’s showcase: slap, harmonics, even a little dance. Obviously, one can’t get the dancing from the audio CD, you just have to believe me: it was great.
Quarter of a century after it was recorded (and leaving aside the cheap synths sound favoured by Gorsky at the time), the music still sounds fresh, funky and optimistic. The country was a-changing. We were young. The future was bright.