PARVIZ RUSTAMBEYOV - CASE № ?

Parvis Rustambeyov is a legend of Azeri jazz, an out standing musician, and performer of jazz, whose tragic fate ended with his death in "Bagirov’s" basement prisons. He was unfairly and foolishly accused of worshipping the "decaying western art".
He was born into the once wealthy Rustambeyov family in Baku, becoming interested in music in childhood when he went to the Pioneers’ Palace and played clarinet there.
As a very talented musician Parvis Rustambeyov drew the attention of professionals and in 1940 he was invited by Tofig Guliyev to his orchestra.
In 1944 during a tour in Baku of the famous Eddie Rozner, the talented saxophonist, whom Rozner admired, was invited to his orchestra as first saxophonist and clarinet performer. This was a great event, because Eddie Rozner invited only talented musicians to his group. It was a challenge for the 22-year old saxophonist and he accepted the invitation with great pleasure. Parvis Rustambeyov was very successful in all the concerts performed in the country and they even started to call him Benny Goodman.

Parviz Rustambeyov

Yuri Saulski said the following about Parvis Rustambeyov, while he performed in Eddie Rozner’s orchestra. "Piro Rustambeyov startled everybody who listened to him. He was a musician of the highest level, an innate improviser. Composing the most difficult musical phrases, he "caught" the harmony as if by intuition.
Once Parvis came to the group, where I had been working for some time, and performed several pieces together with us. There was so much freshness and novelty in his performance! Impressed by his improvisation, we were enjoying a new experience! His solo was always based on a distinct development; there was clear form in everything: the idea lived in music! It was a pleasure to perform with Rustambeyov.

Parviz Rustambeyov

Two years later, when he was already a famous musician, Rustambeyov moved to Baku
Parviz Rustambeyov

and organized his own orchestra: first at the "Red East" cinema (now the "Azerbaijan") and later at the "Nizami".
The innocent 27-year old jazz musician Parvis Rustambeyov who committed crimes neither great nor small was sentenced to 15 years in prison. That was how the repressive machine of the totalitarian regime worked.
However, by 24th December 1949, Parvis Rustambeyov was no longer among the living. Several hours before a "special meeting" at 3.50 a.m. and in strange circumstances, prisoner number 877, Parvis Rustambeyov, passed away in the inner prison of the Ministry of State Safety (KGB) of Azerbaijan…
In 1957 after consideration of many letters written by Rustambeyov’s mother over many years, the public prosecutors’ office applied to the state Security Committee (KGB) with a proposal to give an explanation of Parvis’ case.
The case was considered by senior investigator of the Committee, Captain Arutyunov, who wrote that there was no reason to reconsider the decision of the "special meeting" and in his opinion "the sentence should be left in place". This was the naked, impudent purpose of Arutyunov and his fellow tribesmen who took root in the Security Office of the Republic and used unlawful methods to kill talented and educated representatives of Azerbaijan.
However on 6th January 1958 "it was admitted that the decision of the "special meeting" of the Ministry of State Security of the USSR had to be abolished and Parvis’ case should be closed because of the absence of proof".
The talented young jazzman Parvis Rustambeyov’s life was tragically cut short in full bloom. We do not even know where Parvis’ grave is to read a "yasin" (prayer) and put a bunch of flowers there to bring peace to his soul in the tradition of our ancestors.
However, in January 1949 he was fired "because of worshipping the West" as written in the document. Parvis Rustambeyov became a target of the KGB whose purpose was to find and to expose at least one person from the world of music who worshipped "the decaying western art".
On 20th May 1949 Parvis Rustambeyov was arrested by order of Major Ayriyan who temporarily carried out the functions of military public prosecutor in the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Army of Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In the resolution it said that, "Rustambeyov is anti-soviet and a pro-American personality".