The ten-years-long history of the Second Approach, Russia's most unusual improv collective, is full of astonishing interactions. The trio was born in late 1990s Moscow as an open-form project: pianist Andrey Razin, singer Tatyana Komova and bassist Igor Ivanushkin can perform (and do perform) as just a trio, but never seal themselves in trio format, preferring to enrich their music by interaction with other players. Russian horn virtuoso Arkady Shilkloper played on their debut album ("Pierrot," 1999); albums with American reedist Mike Ellis ("Ex Tempore," 2001) and Ukrainian sax man Yuriy Yaremchuk ("Yurassic Period", 2002) followed, as well as concert performances with the likes of Moscow-based world jazz saxophonist Oleg Kireyev, Siberian multi-instrumentalist improv wiz Roman Stolyar, German free jazz drummer Klaus Kugel etc. The Second Approach trademark blend of classical, ethno, and jazz allows almost any open-minded improviser to be a part of it, but the energetic level of interaction with American improv veteran, trombonist Roswell Rudd, during their only collaboration concert in Moscow in the summer of 2007, was unusual even by the Second Approach standards. Roswell, who in the 1960s collaborated with the likes of Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, John Tchicai, and Cecil Taylor, discovered for himself the broad horizons of world music back in the 1980s. His works on this field included interesting recordings with African and Central Asian musicians. In 2007, he was returning to the U.S. after a successful Central Asian tour with a traditional Buryat-Mongol group. Roswell's producer and partner, Verna Gillis, contacted this writer with a query concerning possible collaborations in Moscow on his way back. I suggested the Second Approach, as I knew the music of both Muscovite trio and American trombonist, and thought that, instead of going the easy way and mating Roswell's trombone improvisations with some old Russian babushkas folk choir singing, crossing his paths with fellow Russian improvisers would be a more interesting pairing. In fact, it was. In June 2007, Roswell Rudd and Verna Gillis arrived in Moscow from Southern Siberia on their way to New York City. A single rehearsal at the Andrey Razin the pianist's place followed, and the same night the resulting quartet performed an exquisite concert at Moscow's most adventurous jazz club to date, the Union of Composers. It was recorded, and resulted in the CD you now have in front of you. What excites me the most in what was played that night, is that neither Roswell nor the Russians tried, as the Russian proverb goes, "to pull the blanket on somebody's side." Nuances and subtle consonants became more important than mighty splashes of sound, though all four were undoubtedly capable of producing such splashes, and did not hesitate to do so if music needed a bight sonic stroke. Individual virtuosic abilities were only important to a degree -- not as an aim in itself, as it often (unfortunately) happens when masters of improvisation, having met on stage for the first time, cannot find a match in themselves. This time, they found it. They were not playing notes, they were playing music. I hope this recording renders this unmistakable sense of magic that we all in the audience felt that night. Cyril Moshkow, editor, Jazz.Ru magazine.