Biography of drummer Rishad Shafi: early years, Gunesh band, influence and legacy
Soviet Music was very multifaceted by nature. It gave the world Russian rock, the genre of pop song, and, of course, jazz. Soviet jazz, which had been formed as a special style in music for several decades, received universal recognition in the late 1960s and early 1970s when it moved away from traditional jazz elements.
In the Soviet Union, the rhythm and intonations that proclaimed this genre penetrated everywhere in film music and even penetrated into the pop. Stylistics jazzHis love of virtuosity and improvisation made the genre one of the elements of popular culture. And a lot of that was thanks to the great drummer of the jazz-rock band Gunesh. Rishadu Shafi.which is the subject of this article.
"Fainted with amazement" - early years and early influences
Rishad Shafi was born in Ashgabat in 1953 to a large Turkmen family. At the age of four, while celebrating the city day together with his mother, little Rishad saw the drummer of a local musical group performing a solo on his musical instrument. The boy was so amazed by this performance that he fainted! And after he woke up, he asked his parents to buy him big drum.
Already as a child, Shafi decided for himself what he wanted to become. That is why he never parted with his drum again, but only learned and learned to play his favorite instrument. But once Rishad was at the drum set, he could no longer refuse all its possibilities.
Success with the group Gunesh and further creativity
In the 1960s, in Turkmenistan, as well as in the whole USSR, a tendency to create vocal-instrumental ensembles began to develop. One of the most famous such groups was created at the end of 1969 by vocalist Murat Sadykov Gunesh ensemblewhich would later become legendary and go down in music history.
At first, VIA "Gunesh" was not very popular, because the idea of its creation was to emphasize the activities of the vocal partThe folk singers, including Sadykov and other singers of different timbres, focused on Soviet pop songs and Turkmen folk songs. Folk singers, which included Sadykov and other vocalists with different timbres, focused on performing Soviet pop songs and Turkmen folk songs. Unfortunately, in the early years of its existence "Gunesh." was a typical '70s band, no different from any other representative of its genre.
In the second half of the 1970s, however, professional jazz musicians joined the group, who contributed to the formation of unique "Gunesh" style invaluable contribution. Among them was the drummer Rishad Shafi, who before his serious participation in the band worked only in a musical group at the restaurant of an Ashgabat hotel.
Then the vocal and instrumental ensemble became the instrumental and vocalby greatly increasing the level of his improvisational thinking.
"Gunesh" is not just a band, not just an ensemble. We created a whole culture, with its own features and style. So someone's departure still leaves a tree and roots in the history of the band..." - said Rishad Shafi.
Thanks to Rishad Shafi, Gunesh has become famous throughout Soviet Union: The band first successfully performed at several international festivals held in Eastern Europe, and then made a real furore at the Tbilisi Rock Festival in 1980. Shafi won the prize as best drummer among all the teams that played in the Georgian capital.
The musical style in which "Gunesh" played is difficult to describe with simple words. The material created by by virtuoso jazzmenIt was impossible to compare it with traditional jazz. The music of the Turkmen band was more like jazz-rock, which was perfectly combined with folk sketches reflecting the peculiarities of Turkmen culture. In particular, this manifested itself in Rishad's drum solosThe first time he played, he often based his playing on the odd rhythmic measures typical of folk music in Turkmenistan.
"I'm a lyricist inside. And in my works I tried to portray the depth of all the musical rhythmic that was available to me as a percussionist. And the emphasis in 'Gunesh' was on the drums!" confessed Rishad Shafi.
What Rishad Shafi was like - influence and legacy
Soviet Drummer Rishad Shafi has passed a thorny path from a simple amateur drummer to the title of musical director of the group "Gunesh" and a drummer who creates his own projects that have become famous throughout Russia. Thanks to his unique style of drumming the world saw "The Drum Shafi Show."Rishad demonstrated his masterful skills with virtuosity.
After the disintegration of the Guonesh Vocal Group, Shafi began to popularize the game on drums: he taught at his native Conservatory, recorded records with foreign musicians, created a musical tale where he acted as composer, and did a great deal to teach unknown musicians unique drumming techniques.
Very talented Rishad Shafi has made an invaluable contribution to jazz music and drummer culture. Today on the YouTube channel. BestDrummerShow you can see a huge number of clips of the ex-Gunesh drummer's virtuoso playing. This is a veritable treasure trove for the drummer and the jazz-rock lover.