Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe


Boкaльньiй Kвapтет „ГAЯ”

Голос твой

Despite the fact that it was part of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991, Azerbaijan’s population mostly Muslim, with 70% Shī‘a and the remaining 30% are Sunni.

Surprisingly, Azerbaijan has a long history of jazz dating back to the first State Popular Orchestra in 1938. But during to Cold War, Soviet authorities dubbed jazz a “seditious western music” and jazz performances were officially banned. Despite the prohibition, jazz fans gathered in secret to listen to western radio stations and afterwards tried to play what they had heard.

In the late 1960s, jazz music began its second life in Azerbaijan with such composers as Gara Garayev, Tofig Guliyev, Rauf Hajiyev and Rafiq Babayev who formed Boкaльньiй Kвapтет „ГAЯ” or Vocal Quartet “Gaya”.

Rafiq Babayev later went on to become the conductor of the National Orchestra for the Azerbaijani National Radio and Television. Unfortunately, he was killedwhen a bomb exploded in a public transit train station in Baku, Azerbaijan on March 19, 1994.

Catalog number C 01735-36 on the Soviet state-owned and operated Μелодия (Melodiya) label. No release date listed.

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Gaya also had an LP in 1978 on Melodiya under the English title “Gaya Azerbaijan Vocal and Instrumental Ensemble” (specified “Art Direct: T. Mirzoev”). It has a strange red, pink, and green rainbow cover with “Gaya” in the middle of it in Roman and Cyrillic script. 11 tracks total in English, Ukrainian, Azeri, Italian, and one in Spanish and Russian. Mostly light pop/rock filler, but worth hunting down for the blazing funk/rock track “Aman yar”. Shows up on E-bay every so often, never over $10 that I’ve seen. Heck, even the pop filler is mostly pretty enjoyable.

Comment by Jeremy




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