Firyuza was a Turkmenian ethnic/prog/jazz/fusion instrumental band, founded in 1979 in USSR under the artistic direction of pianist and organist Dmitry Sablin. Firyuza won the first prize at The Sixth All-Union Entertainers Competition (VI Всесоюзный конкурс артистов эстрады) in Leningrad, thus gaining a privilege to release an album on Melodiya.

The eponymous album was very progressive, blending improvised prog-rock and psychedelic jazz fusion with strong ethnic flavors. Seven band members imitated sounds of traditional Turkmen instruments, such as dutar, dili tuiduk, and g'ijjak, on regular keyboards, guitars, saxophone, flute, and violin.

As an instrumental group, especially with a favorable image of a "national ethnic ensemble from one of the Soviet republics" (hence the band members wearing traditional telpek fur hats on the cover), Firyuza got a pass on censorship and were provided with a full artistic freedom. Just the fact that the album has a classic prog-style format with only four 8-min tracks is noteworthy enough for a record released in USSR in the 1970s.

The record was pressed in Tashkent, at the plant which had been producing some of the smallest Melodiya editions, and never got re-issued. That's why original copies in decent condition are very rare nowadays, bumping the price up to $500-600 and making Firyuza one of the "holy grails" of Soviet psych jazz from Central Asia among Western record collectors, together with Gunesh and Dos-Mukasan LPs.

In 1980, the band also released a split tape with Gunesh (Melodiya, CM 00833), which included three tracks from the album. "Firyuza" was placed on a list of 50 vinyl records to be re-released as a part of 50-th Melodiya anniversary in 2014.


Dmitry Sablin – piano, organ
Evgeniy Nochevny – guitar
Mikhail Mamedov – guitar
Sabir Rizayev – saxophone, flute
Alik Niyachenko – bass guitar
Igor Gordeev – drums
Khana Ten - violin
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Фирюза - Фирюза album art Фирюза Фирюза (Album) Мелодия USSR 1979 Sell This Version
СМ00833 Гунеш* и Фирюза Гунеш* и Фирюза - Гунеш и Фирюза(Cass, Spl) Мелодия СМ00833 USSR Unknown Sell This Version