All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Ivan Baryshnikov Quartet: Journey

Troy Dostert By

Sign in to view read count
Capturing his East-to-West life trajectory, Russian saxophonist Ivan Baryshnikov's debut Journey documents his path through the jazz world via his origins in Moscow, an intervening stay in the Netherlands, and his ultimate arrival in New York, the end-point of his travels (for now). It's a well-conceived set of ten original pieces, with a convincing display of post-bop chops from the leader and his bandmates.

Baryshnikov's partners represent a cross-section of young talent; they're not household names yet, but they might soon be. Pianist Marko Churnchetz, bassist Ryan Berg and drummer Samvel Sarkisyan are well-suited for Baryshnikov's thoughtful compositions, and they display an appealing chemistry throughout the record. Like the leader, both Churnchetz and Sarkisyan hail from Central/Eastern Europe (Churnchetz from Slovenia; Sarkisyan from Russia), so there's undoubtedly a personal dimension to the record's concept for them as well.

The tracks are sequenced to reflect the three locations of Baryshnikov's musical path, with transitional pieces used to signal the move from one destination to the next. The opener, "Beehive," suggests that there was plenty of jazz under Baryshnikov's belt while still in Russia, as his assertive tenor brings plenty of brawn and rhythmic agility to his energized solo, while the band cooks enticingly behind him. Next, "Free of Duties" offers a shuffling funk beat, with some fine soloing from Churnchetz, while "Go On" features guest vocalist/lyricist Hiske Oosterwijk, whose nimble phrasing and precision help make up for some run-of-the-mill lyrics. The band's command of post-bop language is quite evident from the first three cuts alone, with strong soloing and excellent cohesion throughout. Drummer Sarkisyan is a particular marvel, as his relentless invention drives the band forward continuously with non-stop momentum and creativity.

Other pieces, like "Fever Blues" or "Moderate Breeze," stick to a mid-tempo simmer, and they're similarly effective in giving Baryshnikov a supportive foundation for solos that are both well-constructed and nuanced in their give-and-take with the rest of the band. The most exciting music on the record is without doubt the title track, with a brisk tempo, engaging structure and razor-sharp playing throughout to sustain plenty of interest for its six-minute duration.

Although they serve to demarcate the three locales of the record's "journey," the two transition pieces aren't quite as successful as the other tracks. "Transition One: Moscow-Amsterdam" is a serviceable fusion-flavored number, given its character by Churnchetz's Fender Rhodes-style keyboard, but it's not particularly memorable. Nor is "Transition Two: Amsterdam-New York," an unexceptional R&B-based diversion with laid-back vocals from Mark Evich that doesn't really click until Baryshnikov does his best to rescue it with a hard-edged solo that just hits its stride when the track unfortunately ends with a fade-out.

Slight mis-steps aside, there's more than enough top-quality jazz on Journey to justify keeping Baryshnikov, and his colleagues, on the radar for some time to come.

Track Listing: Beehive; Free of Duties; Go On; Transition One: Moscow-Amsterdam; Fever Blues; A Talk with the Ocean; Moderate Breeze; Transition Two: Amsterdam-New York; Journey; Song for Lev.

Personnel: Ivan Baryshnikov: tenor saxophone; Marko Churnchetz: piano, keyboard; Ryan Berg: acoustic, electric bass; Samvel Sarkisyan: drums; Hiske Oosterwijk: vocals, lyrics (3); Mark Evich: vocals, lyrics (8).

Title: Journey | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Music Space NYC

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Journey

Journey

Music Space NYC
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Great Lakes" CD/LP/Track Review Great Lakes
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Air Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Air Guitar
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2018
Read "Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights" CD/LP/Track Review Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 30, 2018
Read "When The Birds Leave" CD/LP/Track Review When The Birds Leave
by Don Phipps
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Looking Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Ahead
by Jim Olin
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Code Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Code Girl
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2018