Saturday, February 18, 2012

Zbigniew Namyslowski – Assymetry (Quartet Publishing, 2006)

Zbigniew Namyslowski - alto & soprano,

Jacek Namyslowski - trombone,
Slawek Jaskulke - piano,
Michal Baranski - bass,
Grzegorz Grzyb - drums,
Pawel Dobrowolski - drums

Assymetry (Quartet Publishing, 2006)

This is a brilliant album by veteran Polish saxophonist / composer Zbigniew Namyslowski, one of the Founding Fathers of modern Polish Jazz active on the scene since the late 1950s. First as a member of the legendary Krzysztof Komeda ensemble and later as a leader, Namyslowski was always a superb musician and an intriguing composer. His early work was often characterized by incorporating Polish folklore motifs into his compositions, which was highly unusual at the time in US or Western Europe, but relatively common behind the Iron Curtain. This amazing album, as the (slightly twisted) title suggests, is all about odd meters, you know all those 7/4, 5/4, 7/8 and other crazy rhythmic patterns that only highly skilled musicians are able to play correctly. As much as they are a nightmare to play, they are surely a wonder to listen to and enjoy and this albums offers nine lengthy tunes, one better that the other. Performed by a brilliant quintet: trombonist Jacek Namyslowski (yes the next generation), pianist Slawek Jaskulke, bassist Michal Baranski and drummers Grzegorz Grzyb and Pawel Dobrowolski (on two tracks only), the music is simply divine, clever and enjoyable, all at the same time, which of course id pretty rare. It certainly seems that Namyslowski is getting younger with age, a rare quality indeed. Brilliant!

1. Poćwiart; 2. Powinnowaci; 3. Gradient 90; 4. Blues 4-2; 5. Another 5 (Inna Piątawka); 6. Polly Arrhytmic; 7. Za kłodą kloc, za klocem kłoda (Log Behind The Clog); 8. Trion; 9. Lou Duff Kha

By Adam Baruch

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