Chou-Chou "Drunk".

   The second album by the Moscow-based mysteriously instrumental duet is a measurable leap in the direction of new jazz. The former reliance on expressive, sometimes even exotic melody lines with Mediterranean overtones is still there, but the arrangements, the sound, and the very mood now transports the listener to the living room of a self-made eccentric Columbian millionaire rather than to the shores of Palermo. Each composition is a mystery; an unsolved riddle hides behind every guitar chord, saxophone moan, and mystical organ riff. Their Summer Song is a labyrinth with a happy ending; The Soul 2002 has an unhappy one. Other-worldly turns and cloyingly-sweet tenderness abound. But the finale, in any case, will be a surprise.

Alexander Kutinov