SMALL LABELS, BIG SOUNDS…Konstantin Ionenko Quintet: Deep Immersion, Daniel Fortin: Brinks

One of the most intimidating things about being a jazz fan is the surfeit of recording labels out there. Which ones are reliable? Who’s a “fly by night”? Is any of this material worthwhile? How’s the sound quality? Here are a couple from a couple small companies that put out big music.

Bassits Konstantin Ionenko brings together Dmitri Shlelein/as, Dennis Adu/tp-fh, Pavel Litvinenko/p and Pavel Galitsky/dr for a session on Fancy Music Records that looks and sounds like something from ECM. The band shows is ability to drive on post bop pieces on material such as “Yellow Greenwich” and Shlelein shows his rich tone on the aria-like intro where he goes solo before the rest of the band comes jumping in on the driving “Barracuda.” Lyricism is abundant as Ionenko delivers some lovely lines along with  Adu’s horn on “Devoted” and Litvinenko’s deft touch is gracious on the gentle “Invisible.” Lots to like here form mainstream fans.

Bassist Daniel Fortin brings together a quartet with David French/ts, Michael Davidson/vib and Fabio Ragnelli/dr on this clean and swinging session form Spain-based Fresh Sound Records. A dash of Modern Jazz Quartet chamber sounds is palpable as French’s thick tenor adds texture to pieces like “Verona” and the moody rubato of “Progress Bar.” Davison’s vibes resonate  as they converse with Ragnelli on”Ends” while the rhythm gets funky and French holds back on “Smithereen”  and everyone gets  rocky on ”Adldmbdld.”  A restless military snare and bass teams up with an open hearted tenor on “So Ass To” and Ragnellis’ brushes create a nifty groove on “Mince.” Deft sounds ae in abundance here.

Fancy Music Records

Fresh Sound New Talent

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