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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Konstantin Ionenko Quartet: Noema

Read "Noema" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Ukrainian bassist/composer Konstantin Ionenko introduces a striking new quartet on Noema. His previous release Deep Immersion (Fancy Music, 2013) was a quintet with piano, trumpet and saxophone. Only Ionenko and drummer Pavel Galitsky remain from that group, joined by new members Dima Bondarev (flugelhorn) and Alex Maksymiw (guitar). There was precedent for working with a guitarist, in the form of the Deep Tone Project, which he co-led with guitarist Alexandr Pavlov on the album Flow (Fancy Music, 2014). Both of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Konstantin Ionenko Quartet: Noema

Read "Noema" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Bassist and composer Konstantin Ionenko continues to experiment with formations as he returns with yet another revised lineup on Noema. The name refers to a Greek word meaning “thought" or the content of thought. Recorded in Kiev, Ukraine and mastered in Moscow, the quartet album consists of eight original Ionenko compositions that bridge European chamber jazz and creative improvisation. As a composer, Ionenko has favored a refined blend of evocative lyricism and post-modern innovation and this release is no exception, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Konstantin Ionenko Quintet: Deep Immersion

Read "Deep Immersion" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The dark-toned, subtle, inviting and yet vaguely dangerous Deep Immersion represents electric bassist Konstantin Ionenko's project as a leader (and sole composer), the other being Flow from the Deep Tone Project, which he co-leads with guitarist Alexandr Pavlov. Ionenko does not hide this music's antecedents, which are sixties hard bop, complete with the two-horn front line declaiming the theme in unison, supported by a piano trio. However, this is no slavish copy of that era's aesthetic, nor even ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Deep Tone Project: Flow

Read "Flow" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Beyond the recent headlines there is a cultural history in Ukraine that has influenced much of Europe and Western Asia since the middle ages. Under the Soviet regime, much of the country's classical and religious music was banned while the region's folkloric music not only thrived but, after Ukrainian independence, remained a defensive mechanism to counter the unwelcome influence of Western music. Jazz in particular was suspect, having once been labeled by Pravda as “The Music of the Gross." Though ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two Konstantin Ionenko Releases on Fancy Music

Read "Two Konstantin Ionenko Releases on Fancy Music" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Two recent releases from the Russian Fancy Music label feature Ukrainian bassist Konstantin Ionenko (they also have drummer Pavel Galitsky in common). Ionenko holds down the low end with an electric bass guitar, but the group sound on these recordings is primarily acoustic, with a bass approach similar to what a double bassist would play--no slapping or popping here. If these albums are indicative of the general quality of Ukrainian jazz playing, there must be a deep bench.


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