Ark Ovrutski Quintet : Intersection on DOWNBEAT JULY 2016

Downbeat, July 2016, p.54

Ark Ovrutski


ORIGIN 82709


There are some nifty passages that emerge on bassist Ark Ovrutski’s new album, a collection of originals mixed with a few covers. The playing is top-notch, and the interaction between group members is at a consistently high level, making Intersection a fine acoustic jazz outing.

Starting with Bill Evans’ “Waltz For Debby,” the mood is framed within a straightahead paradigm, with trombonist Michael Dease and reed player Michael Thomas offering stimulating counterpoint. But Intersection is notable in the democratic way in which all members get solo space, leaving ample room for individual statements from the accomplished Brazilian pianist Helio Alves and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca.

There’s an undeniable mid-1960s Blue Note feel to this music, originals like “Twister” pointing to the quintet’s obvious facility with different styles. This uptempo swinger offers the band a blowing platform, over which Dease and Thomas engage in a lively conversation full of modern phrases. Along other lines, “Good And Terrible,” with its quasi-rock feel, suggests something Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers might pull off. Perhaps the titular “intersection” is simply a convergence of past and present.

—John Ephland

Intersection: Waltz For Debby; Tom Thumb; La Mesha; Manhattan Style; The Craft; Twister; Bolero; Good And Terrible. (47:30)

Personnel: Ark Ovrutski, bass; Michael Dease, trombone; Michael Thomas, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Helio Alves, piano; Duduka Da Fonseca, drums, percussion.

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