Crisis or no crisis, the 2008-2009 jazz concert season in Russia was far from being eventless. New fruitful collaborations were unveiled, new record labels were launched, old festivals have convincingly confirmed that they were well alive and kicking, and many good Russian jazz albums have hit the stores. Those albums revealed a new trend, that of many exciting Russian-American joint ventures in jazz this year. Of those intercontinental collaborations, pianist Ivan Farmakovsky's debut as a leader, Next To The Shadow
(Boheme Music, 2009), proved to be one of the most intriguing Russian jazz releases of the year.