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Line-up: Grigory "Grig" Pushen - bass Simon Mordukhayev - saxophones Natalie Nurmukhamedova - vocalizes Yury Benjaminov - guitars, sitar & Uzbek national string instruments Andrey Pertsev - drums B.Tashkhodjayev - Uzbek national bass instruments A.Yakubov - keyboards
ANOR was formed by the talented composers Grig Pushen and Simon Mordukhayev in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in the beginning of the 1980s. In the first half of the 1980s the band played only in Tashkent's various clubs. In 1985 Anor was invited to perform at the annual (and very popular in these years) festival of Jazz and Jazz-related music, called "Fergana Jazz". It's called so because it was held in the town of Fergana, which is one of the regional civic centres of Uzbekistan. Anor's performance at the "Fergana Jazz 1985" festival was very successful and the band become a winner of it, while a few of the band members were awarded as the best guitarist, bassist, etc. That happened mainly thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of the Anor bandleader Grig Pushen who was one of the leading composers of Uzbekistan in the 1980s. Anor disbanded in the beginning of the 1990s, and then Grig has founded his own recording studio, which at the time was the most modern and respectable studio in the republic. Back to Anor, after the band's major success on "Fergana Jazz 1985" the famous Uzbekistani female singer Natalie Nurmukhamedova, whose popularity wasn't limited by the borders of the USSR (let alone the borders of her own republic), joined them. Another musician, who was famous all over the USSR, saxophonist Simon Mordukhayev become the 'staff' Anor member a few years ago. A very talented drummer Andrey Pertsev, one of the Anor's former members, also became a well known musician. It happened in the beginning of the 1990s, when he joined the legendary heavy metal band from Moscow called Black Coffee. During the first half of the 1990s Andrey was also a drummer for a couple of Russia's famous Thrash and Heavy-Metal bands. Thanks to his incredible musicianship, the further musical career of Andrey has been continued in Canada, where he and his family live since 1997. Yuri Bendjaminov is also one of the most well known Uzbekistani musicians. The only Anor LP was pressed by both the biggest (Moscow and Tashkent) factories-divisions of the "Melody" concern. "A Taste of Pomegranate" represents an extremely original and complex, intricate Jazz-Fusion (Progressive Jazz-Rock, to be precise), filled with unique, colourful Uzbek and other Eastern ornaments'and all of the essential progressive ingredients as well. In their messages to me, a lot of my friends in CIS and abroad, who are into a real Prog Fusion and have Anor's "A Taste of Pomegranate" LP, expressed their delight with the music of the band and the musicianship of all of the band members. Frankly, the majority of them said Anor is on a par with most of the famous Titans of the genre.
VM. November 25, 2001
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