Daniel Fortin (b), David French (ts), Michael Davidson (vib), Fabio Ragnelli (d)
Bar code: 8427328424738
"Bassist Daniel Fortin makes his debut as a bandleader on Brinks (FSNT 473). While his compositional skills have figured in releases by the band Myriad3, they play a more prominent role here, defining a strong, personal style. Fortins pieces consist of just a few notes, a phrase or two to be recast, concentrated and contrasted. He creates edgy, tensile structures that have some of the character of Thelonious Monks works without any particular resemblance. Its music that requires tremendous discipline on the part of the band to come up with sufficiently minimalist improvisatory approaches that are true to the spirit of the works, but thats just what tenor saxophonist David French, vibraphonist Michael Davidson and drummer Fabio Ragnelli have done.
Operating within a set of timbres that might suggest comfortable ballads, the group turns out complex music filled with intriguing juxtapositions and fresh patterns. Fortin himself plays bass with a keen sense of structure and a special melodic focus."
Stuart Broomer (November, 2015)
"One of the most intimidating things about being a jazz fan is the surfeit of recording labels out there. Which ones are reliable? Whos a fly by night? Is any of this material worthwhile? Hows the sound quality? Here are a couple from a couple small companies that put out big music.
Bassist Daniel Fortin brings together a quartet with David French/ts, Michael Davidson/vib and Fabio Ragnelli/dr on this clean and swinging session form Spain-based Fresh Sound Records. A dash of Modern Jazz Quartet chamber sounds is palpable as Frenchs thick tenor adds texture to pieces like Verona and the moody rubato of Progress Bar. Davisons vibes resonate as they converse with Ragnelli onEnds while the rhythm gets funky and French holds back on Smithereen and everyone gets rocky on Adldmbdld. A restless military snare and bass teams up with an open hearted tenor on So Ass To and Ragnellis brushes create a nifty groove on Mince. Deft sounds ae in abundance here."
George W. Harris (November 5, 2015)
"Here's a record that does what a good record is supposed to do. It creates a sound-space all of its own, indivisible, difficult to define by reference to anything else, endlessly revisitable. The group's as well balanced as could be, both in terms of instrumental emphasis and recorded sound. There's nothing whatever to complain about. Except perhaps that the unity of the sound, which takes a great deal of its energy from Fortin's mighty bass-playing, means that it's too long by maybe ten minutes. Three quarters of an hour of this would have been perfect.
Much of the dynamism comes from the relationship between Fortin and vibist Davidson, who's very different from the current school of un-pianistic mallet players. His approach is more bell-like and in places almost declamatory. Ragnelli and French often sound like they're working from the outside in, but like one of those optical illusions where you can either see the hourglass or the two faces but not both at once, the two internal duos seem to reverse polarity with dizzying frequency, so much so that the final effect is highly unified.
It's a terrific record, with no obvious standout track, though I keep cueing up the freeish I Don't Know."
Brian Morton -Jazz Journal (August, 2015)