This is a three piece jazz band from St Petersburg Russia. This is their first release and consists of a safe variety of commercial jazz styles from Kirill Sokirko on piano, Dmitry Malygin on bass and Roman Smirnov on drums. Although this is very well done, and quite easy to listen to, it is not my taste in jazz. I don’t get the name of the band at all because it’s mainstream and NRP ready music. There is nothing remotely “fusion” about this disc.
Now this is not to say you won’t like it, nor that it is bad. The skill level is nice and I couldn’t find fault with the musicianship other than just playing it a bit too safe for even the hardcore jazz lover. I found the cover title (track 4) ‘Morning Rain’ to be the most beautiful and outstanding cut. This is a keeper for the romantic music lover. Melancholy piano, slow cloud-like pace, crisp and exact drums, and round simple bass, then a quick dispersion into a more swing jazz part, then back to the sad slow beginning part, all to make a gorgeous composition. For me, worth the price of the CD alone.
I can’t compare Fusion Point to anyone right off hand as they do cover a variety of standard jazz styles the same way a cover band would at a small jazz club. This is jazz for your parents, the family, and folks who like a good foot tapping concert. I think most grandparents would love this as well. If it sounds like a am bashing the band, I’m not, I’m just trying to convey the style and type jazz compositions they present on this debut. I hear some resemblance to Bob James, Beegie Adair, and Pat Coil. They’d fit on the Windham Hill or American Gramophone label, as well as a couple tunes get into the perfect TV theme song, or “could be music” to Charlie Brown episodes.
I think they should add another musician next time (brass, winds, guitar - any of those would work well) just to bring in more texture and creativity. The three musicians have fine skill, just think they might run out of room with this exact concept on a 2nd or 3rd recording. I may be wrong. The cocktail party type jazz is less than interesting at times and for progressive jazz lovers, I fear this would come across like a bowling ball. So this is the standard to which I must judge, with this being a progressive music magazine, and myself being a huge varietal fan of many kinds of music. But I admit to loving the more daring jazz rock, fusion and avant garde when it comes to jazz based music. I also love much of the ECM catalog.
Although I think the band misleads a potential fan, by their name, as to what type of music this really is, I still think the trio has the ability to make fusion and more adventurous music. The music is pretty, it’s well done standardized jazz with a few variations like swing, bop, and classical jazz songs thrown in but it’s just not progressive jazz. For those who enjoy pleasant all instrumental uncluttered jazz done with class and professionalism, then this is your CD.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on April 24th, 2012