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Ark Ovrutski: Journey Moments

Dan Bilawsky By

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In listening to this music, each song, solo, and split-second decision can be defined as a journey moment. Every single one, large or small, plays as a parallel or reflection of life's rich travels, bringing to light thoughts and emotions both firm and fleeting in nature. And in the sum total of them all, where action, reaction, and interaction play the role of viewfinders for those on the receiving end, truths of a varied sort emerge.

Journey Moments marks the fourth date from Ark Ovrutski. A ballasting bassist with a purposeful approach, appreciation for past masters, and embrace of the present, Ovrutski knows how to find his way to central avenues, modern highways, Brazilian streets, and back roads. His previous dates found him traveling said thoroughfares with quintets, so this one marks a departure of sorts with its focus on a foursome. But while the setting may be slightly different, the sensibility remains similar in nature.

In these nine songs—five Ovrutski originals and four classics—we find light, depth, strength, humor and sensitivity. The album sets sail with "Second Line," a foray into a bluesy funk territory that orients the ears to the combined sound and force of Ovrutski, saxophonist Myron Walden, pianist Benito Gonzalez, and drummer McClenty Hunter, Jr. From there it's off to Frank Foster's "Simone," where rubato ruminations pave the way for waltzing intrigue; over to "Flower," a number placing Walden's piquant horn in natural light; and on to Wayne Shorter's "Lester Left Town," a chestnut that sings and swings to the beauty of its maker.

At the album's center sits Ron Carter's "For Toddlers Only," a duet between Ovrutski and Walden that offers a serious change of pace both in character and condition. Lighthearted camaraderie and repartee carry the day, but the music and kinship is serious all the way. Save for a take on Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance," the second half of the program belongs to Ovrutski's pen. He revisits the raucous and ripe atmosphere of "New Orleans" that he painted on 44:33 (Zoho Music, 2014), travels back to his debut album in spirit on "Sounds Of Brazil," and closes out the program with the driving New York edge and energy of "Uptown."

Ark Ovrutski knows his way around and thensome. That's not exactly news, but it still bears repeating when music like this emerges.

Track Listing: Second Line; Simone; Flower; Lester Left Town; For Toddlers Only; New Orleans; Dolphin Dance; Sounds Of Brasil; Uptown.

Personnel: Ark Ovrutski: bass; Myron Walden: saxophone; Benito Gonzalez: piano; McClenty Hunter: bass.

Title: Journey Moments | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ark Ovrutski Music

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CD/LP/Track Review
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Journey Moments

Journey Moments

Ark Ovrutski Music
2018

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Intersection

Intersection

Origin Records
2016

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44:33

44:33

Zoho Music
2014

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Sounds Of Brasil

Sounds Of Brasil

Self Produced
2011

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