CD review at latinjazznet.com

Posted by dejavu Category: News

Two years after he released Sounds of Brasil (Self Published, 2010) bassist Ark Ovrutski has graced music with a fine new album, 44:33. Numbers can be deceptive and the shortness of this recording might suggest that Mr. Ovrutski had nothing more to say, after a point, but exactly the opposite is the case here. The titles of his music tend to be less intriguing that someone with excess showmanship, but again, Ark Ovrutski would have little to do with flashy pronouncements. The bassist takes the path less known and eschews the spectacular in favour of studiousness and musicality. And his record has numerous musical examples of his reliance on his wonderful musical intellect and an emotiveness that brings forth the truths of heartfelt ideas—heartfelt because they come not so much from Mr. Ovrutski’s obviously advanced musical intellect, but from somewhere deep inside his body. That part being the soul and the suggestion is that it is the bassist’s spectral self that dictates this body of work. There can be no doubt that Ark Ovrutski’s music comes from somewhere deep within his body. Listening to his soli it is easy to assume that his music emanates from the soul. He further seems to feel this music in the pit of his stomach and this gives the music a combination of elevated polyphony melded with a deep and visceral energy. His playing seems to hark back to the heritage that speaks of Jimmy Blanton and Oscar Pettiford, Ray Brown and Charles Mingus. This would be enough for someone other than Mr. Ovrutski. However, with this bassist it means stretching more and digging deeper to reach further as there is some vaunted housekeeping every time he sets up to play. Mr. Ovrutski’s tone is sonorous; his playing sinewy and his voices echoes with a growling gravitas in his soli which are inventive, edifying and constructed just as if they were intricately wrought architectural masterpieces. The one he plays on “Waltz” is a beautiful case in point. Mr. Ovrutski has summoned some of the finest young musicians to be his partners on this date. The trombonist, Michael Dease is one of those players who continue to appear on dates with the finest musicians. It is on the frontline of quintets and sextets led by master musicians like The Heath Brothers, Winard Harper, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Claudio Roditi, and Lewis Nash, where Dease has revitalized the trombone’s image. Saxophonist Michael Thomas is another fine player, who does not simply adorn the date, but plays an uplifting part in the music, as do the pianists David Berkman and Benito Gonzalez. And, of course, Ulysses Owens who is already deemed to be a young master, plays with utter simplicity and sensitivity, keeping a close watch on where his bassist wants him to go. For his part Ark Ovrutski is a generous leader, allowing his soloists to stretch and go where they must; where the music takes them by the heart: that much is clear on “Baby’s Vibe”. This is a short album, but the repertoire is poignant right from the early bars of the second-line march “New Orleans” through the elegantly composed and played “Waltz” and “Milestones” down to the conclusion on “Path Train.” The repertoire seems to be carefully selected not only to showcase the musical skills of its protagonist, but to also show the beautiful drama that plays out song after song on this memorable album. Track List: New Orleans; Waltz; Up; Baby’s Vibe; Medium; Milestones; Path Train. Personnel: Michael Dease: trombone; Michael Thomas: alto and soprano saxophones; Davis Berkman: piano (1 – 6); Benito Gonzalez: electric piano (7); Ulysses Owens: drums; Ark Ovrutski: double bass. Label: Zoho Music | Release date: April 2014 Website: www.arkovrutski.com | Buy music on: : amazon – See more at: http://latinjazznet.com/2014/05/03/features/jazz-report/ark-ovrutski-4433/#sthash.b8xjPxUX.dpuf