Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hera - Where My Complete Beloved Is (Multikulti, 2011) by Bartek Adamczak

Hera (band)

Waclaw Zimpel - clarinet, bass clarinet, tarogato, harmonium
Pawel Postaremczak - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, prepared piano
Ksawery Wojcinski - double bass
Pawel Szpura - drums, percussion
guests:
Sara - tampura (third track only)
Maniucha Bikont - voice (fourth track only)

Where My Complete Beloved Is (Multikulti, 2011)

After their acclaimed self-titled debut Hera comes back with a second release. And it may come as a total surprise to whoever haven't had a chance to see the band live in the last year or so. Hera moved to explore completely different musical areas, which I talked about, regular readers might remember, as I've praised their concert at Lublin Jazz Festival, which took place only a couple of days before the recording session.

When the cd begins we enter a mystical, misty and misterious nothingness, a peacefulls space filled with delicate sounds of an arco bass, brushed percussion, gongs, harmonium's sound that fills the air, exotic and percussive sound of prepared piano strings. The music unfolds slowly, patiently, unhurried. Near the middle of the track (around 8 minutes into it) a strong bass line appears, a hypnotic ostinato motive played on harmonium, the misty nothingness embodies a clear shape of a steady rhythm structure, a vibrating, vivid vehicle for spiritual, heated and passionate saxophone solo. 

This music is a mystical act shamanism, a meditation, a trance journey through root rhythms of music from India and Africa. In a way, a continuation of total, all-embracing world music vision of Don Cherry but the spirit of Alice Coltrane is also present. 

The cd contains three lengthy (close to 20 minutes each) musical journeys, varied yet unified by the same spirit. Driven by the infallible, irresistible rhythms by Pawel Szpura and Ksawery Wojcinski (his playing reminds of Cecil McBee's beautifull tone on "Journey to Satchinanda" cd by Alice Coltrane), completed by the spiralling around each other duos of saxophone and bass clarinet (as in the second track). A powerful, tribal drums solo links seamlessly the second and the third track which, based on a tampura drone, evolves slowly, with delicate percussion shadings, a subtle and melodic bass solo, a sustained long arco note, untill, again, a strong, simply and melodic bass line emerges, to begin its dance with the drums, joined by the clarinet and soprano saxophone in this musical celebration of life.

While the first piece is a composition by Waclaw Zimpel, the latter two (in fact a continous performance divided by the drums solo) are credited to Hera which marks another change since the debut cd. The last track is a traditional russian song (original title "Och da usz ty da li czo"), wonderfully sung by Maniucha Bikont. It introduces a different kind of mysticism, a purity of root eastern europe folk culture combined with exotic sounds of harmonium, yet the all fit perfectly together. As if there were no real distance between those.

This group achieved a complete syncronicity, the sense of unity, the coherence, the clarity of direction of their playing together - it's all uncanny. And there's no need really to add that the playing by each of the musicians is great. This music is one, unique, whole. Inspired and inspiring. Not to be missed.

The titles of the album and the music tracks form together a part of the Kabir's poem "Abode of the Beloved":

"Where my complete beloved is
In that place there is no happiness or unhappines
No truth or untruth
Neither sin or virtue
There is no day or night, no moon or sun"

One of the three available on youtube fragments from a concert in Poznan, in Dragon club. All three heartily recommended.




Author: Bartek Adamczak

1 comment:

  1. agreed a damn fine band exploring the past and still looking forward.

    ReplyDelete

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