Vyacheslav Ganelin - piano, synthesizer, percussion
Petras Vysniauskas - soprano saxophone
Klaus Kugel - drums, percussion
"The Ganelin Trio Priority played a staggering set," writes All About Jazz, about their 2007 Vision Festival performance, "a continuous and constantly morphing shock-and-awe campaign in which all national and international demarcations were obliterated." In the early 1970s, the Lithuanian-born keyboardist (piano and synthesizer) and percussionist Vyacheslav Ganelin formed his first trio, which caused musical and cultural shock waves throughout the Soviet empire and the West. “Ganelin is a master architect," writes Eyal Hareuveni, "who can combine eclectic and poly-stylistic themes, abstract ideas, stories and mini-dramas into a unified statement, and let it sound symphonic, orchestral, cinematic."
Vyacheslav Ganelin was born in Moscow in 1944. He graduated in 1968 from the State Conservatory Vilnius/Lithuania, where he later taught composition, before becoming Music Director of the Vilnius Russian Drama Theatre. He has written compositions for symphonic orchestra, theater, chamber music, vocal ensembles, jazz big-band, two operas, three pieces for ballet and the sound tracks for more than 30 films. In 1971 he had founded the "Ganelin Trio" (with V. Chekassin and V. Tarasov) which toured most European countries during the ‘70s and the '80s, and had an extraordinary success worldwide. In 1987 he left Lithuania and immigrated to Israel.
"The Nordic soul sound ... the Slavic folk/medieval sound, the cool jazz legacy, the free jazz lineages, the experimental, the electronic, the contemporary composers, the post-late-Miles/Coltrane/Shorter ways of cutting loose ... these and more parallel universes echo through the Ganelin Trio‘s cinematic-dramaturgical performances, adding up to more than their sum in its six hands," writes Signal To Noise. "Mostly, you‘ll find the thing that compels and satisfies most: original and brilliant creative artistry, igniting its like in yourself."
In 1999 he founded the new Ganelin Trio Priority, with Petras Vysniauskas (soprano saxophone) and Klaus Kugel (drums, percussion). "Lithuanian soprano saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas, is, I believe, one of the most profoundly original musicians concentrating on that instrument," writes Howard Mandel. "His jagged phrases expand on determinedly original intervals and his sound is powerful." Vysniauskas has played with Steve Lacy, Han Bennink, Elliot Sharp, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Vijay Iyer, and John Lindberg. Klaus Kugel is one of the most inventive and adventurous German drummers. He’s attracted worldwide attention through projects with Karl Berger, Tomasz Stanko, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler, Bobo Stenson, Robert Dick, Perry Robinson, and Charles Gayle. "Most ensembles can only wish for a percussionist with such high skill and perceptive musicianship as Klaus Kugel" writes Frankfurter Rundschau.
photo by Matthias Creutziger