History of the group started with its founding members’ study of jazz improvisation with famous Moscow pianist and educator Daniel Kramer at the Moscow Conservatory. Ekaterina Chernousova (vocal, piano, arrangements) and Sergei Nankin (clarinet) founded a duet and played jazz standards and their own compositions. They played concerts in Moscow (Moscow Conservatory, The Tchaikovsky Hall, jazz clubs) and in other Russian and Ukrainian cities (Dubna, Omsk, Zaporozhie, Tula, Tver and others.)
In 1999 they composed and performed the fantasy on Sergei Prokofiev music “Romeo and Juliet”.
Soon the duo decided to enhance itself by including bass and drums, and to transform into a full-size jazz group.
IIn December, 2002, the Rooms presented their first CD at the Jewish Culture Center Concert Hall, and both the concert and CD featured all main directions in the Rooms music: arrangements of jazz standards and classic music, original pieces, mix of different styles in contemporary music with folk songs. Soon there came an idea to make a program which will combine Jewish tunes with modern jazz rhythms. It resulted in the release of the second CD, east music in jazz . Its music was highly estimated by such renowned representatives of klezmer music as M. Lerner, M. Sheppert at 4th Klezfest in Kiev (2004).
The group would like to express their gratitude for help and support to Valeria Kovalzon, director of Moscow Jewish Youth Club. The “Rooms” have been also participated at Jewish celebrations and at anniversaries of Jewish organasations (for example, Russian-Jewish Congress).
«Why “Rooms”? It means the idea of creating a space which is filled with a new sense every time. All depends on who is now living in the room – Bach, Ellington, dancing Jewish boy or Russian girl or flying bumble-bee. We hope that there will be many different guests in our rooms with new interesting ideas» — Ekaterina Chernousova
In December 2004, the band became the 1st prize laureate of the music festival and competition in Kazan after which they got invitations to perform in other cities such as Yaroslavl, Saratov, Obninsk, Chelyabinsk. That year the Rooms also participated in several ethno-jazz festivals in Moscow.
In the fall of 2006, Ekaterina Chernousova and Andrey Antimonov recorded “Feeling’ Russia” album where they explored their long-cherished idea of blending jazz and Russian music. “We live in Russia, the country of amazing cultural traditions some of which have unfortunately been lost. The Russians have always been open and sensitive to cultures of other nations, and in particular to jazz. We wanted to try and express the Russian soul as it was probably understood by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, but to do this in modern rhythms. And contemporary jazz provides fertile soil for this.” (Ekaterina Chernousova)
The album is mainly based on jazz interpretations of Russian folk and classical music through extraordinary tone coloring: the basic sound element here is multiple interlacing of clarinet parts – their combinations make the core of Andrey Antimonov’s arrangements – now and then the instrumental texture is penetrated by sophisticated vocal Ekaterina Chernousova, piano. Stylistically, this album presents ethno-fusion. The musicians devoted this CD to one of the best contemporary jazz clarinetists – Paquito D’Rivera. Having heard the album, Maestro D’Rivera gave a rather positive review: “Very nice melodies, good playing, composing and arranging, nice clarinet sound!” First performance of the album was done by Rooms jazz band in March 2007, first at the Jazz Art Club and then at the Soyuz Kompozitorov (Composers’ Union) Club. At the same time this program was performed and well received by the audience at the “Jazz upon the Volga” International Jazz Festival in Yaroslavl, and then, in June 2007, at the “What a Wonderful World” International Jazz Festival in Chelyabinsk.
Ekaterina Chernousova – «Spring Circle Dance»
CD, One Records, 2009
Ekaterina Chernousiva (piano, voice) explores her own rich blend of jazz, Russian folk, and classical music.