Band That Plays To Continuously Sold-out Shows Blends An Intriguing Mix Of Contemporary Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Gypsy Jazz And Traditional Swing
“Impressively swinging their way through a program of jazz standards and Great American Songbook classics.” —Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times/International Review Of Music
Los Angeles, California. Perennial Los Angeles favorites Sasha’s Bloc are set to release their new CD, Melancholy, September 17th via AG Entertainment . With a big-band sound that recalls the vibe of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band infused with the Blues, a hint of Gypsy Jazz, contemporary jazz and swing, Sasha’s Bloc have been playing to sold-out shows across Southern California for the past two years and have developed a loyal following across the country.
Formed in 2012 by bassist Alexander Gershman who hails from Moscow, Sasha’s Bloc is an eclectic mix of musicians focused on the revival of the jazz culture of the 1920’s and 30’s, combined with the adaptation of modern jazz original compositions. Melancholy, Sasha’s Bloc’s second CD release, features nine original songs written by Gershman and talented vocalist Carina Cooper, recorded in collaboration with renowned jazz musicians Brandon Fields on saxophone (Earth, Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones), Lenni Castro on percussion (Eric Clapton, Boz Scaggs), Sergey Chipenko on piano (David Sanborn, Mindi Abair), Herman Jackson on piano (Stevie Wonder, George Benson), Mark Cargill on violin, Nahum Zdybel on guitar (Bruce Forman, Larry Koonse), Bob McChesney on trombone, Will Wheaton on vocals (Celine Dion, Michael Jackson), Kevin Winard on drums (Debbie Gibson, Paul Anka), Peggi Blu on vocals (Luther Vandross, Bob Dylan) and Adam “Aejaye” Jackson on vocals (Toni Braxton, David Foster). Many of these musicians accompany Sasha’s Bloc for the live shows, resulting in an ever-changing but always delightful big-band sound.
Aside from Sasha’s Bloc, Alex Gershman is a world-renowned Urologic Surgeon who grew up in Moscow as a passionate lover of jazz. Singing before he could speak, Alex cultivated his love of music throughout his school years, playing in a variety of jazz bands well into his medical school career. In 1988 Gershman was invited to the United States as a Visiting Professor at Cedars Sinai and UCLA Medical Centers to develop a new type of surgical intervention - Laparoscopic Robotic Surgery – and was the first on the west coast to develop, adapt clinical practice and publish applications of Robotic Surgery in Urology. Now permanently based in Los Angeles, Gershman’s credits include Chief of Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Director of the Institute of Advanced Urology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and President of the American-Russian Medical Association.
Despite his intense work schedule, Alex kept playing music, absorbing different sounds and genres, and in 2012 he formed Sasha’s Bloc. Initially, seven of the musicians in the band hailed from Russia, and they jokingly referred to themselves as a “Soviet Bloc” – a name which quickly changed to Sasha’s Bloc with “Sasha” being Alex’s middle name. Their first CD featured a collection of jazz standards influenced by Gypsy Jazz and Flamenco, and a succession of 50 shows followed the release of the CD. The era of Jazz portrayed in the 1920’s and 30’s is of keen interest to Gershman and a major influence in the Sasha’s Bloc sound, and Gershman is also in the beginning stages of creating a stage musical based on the music and lifestyle of this time period.
A complete track listing for Melancholy is as follows:
- I’m So In Love
- Let’s Dance Together
- Playful Blues
- Rancho State of Mind
- Universal Swing
- Someone Real