Boris Kozlov Releases “First Things First”
Boris Kozlov has released a new solo album that is his first for the Posi-Tone label. First Things First features an incredible cast of musicians including keyboardist Art Hirahara, saxophonist Donny McCaslin, vibraphonist Behn Gillece, and drummer Rudy Royston.
Kozlov is a first-rate bassist also known for his work as the arranger and musical director for the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and the Mingus Orchestra. The booklet for First Things First includes the Mingus quote, “In my music, I’m trying to play the truth of what I am,” and Kozlov’s playing mirrors that. He presents six of his own originals accompanied by pieces by his bandmates, closing with a beautiful rendition of the Mingus song “Eclipse.”
Kozlov performs on the double bass, electric bass, and piccolo bass to express himself, and as such the music varies from straight-ahead jazz to the funkier side of things.
You can get a feel for the breadth of the project with its first two tracks. First up, McCaslin’s “Page One” with Kozlov opening with an arco melody before laying into the groove.
Next, hear the bandleader’s electric bass style on “Flow,” which features him playing chord-melody style on top before filling out the harmony with beautiful chords and arpeggios:
First Things First Track List:
- Page One
- The More Things Change
- I.S. Adventure
- Second Line Sally
- Mind Palace
- Warm Sand
- Once a Fog In Babylon