Monday, March 12, 2012

Ircha Clarinet Quartet - Watching Edvard (Kilogram, 2011)

Ircha Clarinet Quartet (band)

Mikołaj Trzaska - bass, Bb metal clarinets
Michał Górczyński - Bb, bass clarinets
Paweł Szamburski - Bb, bass clarinets
Wacław Zimpel - alt, Bb, bass clarinets and tarogato

Watching Edvard (Kilogram, 2011)

Ircha Clarinet Quartet created and led by Mikołaj Trzaska is one of the most interesting bands in Polish jazz these days. Their first release featured legendary reedist Joe McPhee and was unanimously voted as one of most interesting albums in 2010. Next CD from this band, although without American support, brings music of depth and intensity that finds few parallels in our improvised music. Two factors probably are working to such the effect: first, Mikołaj Trzaska attained as instrumentalist  and composer maturity that allows him to produce ideas as coherent as original. Second, he displays this maturity also in a way he establishes relationships with younger generation of musicians. He picked up for this project what is best among Polish jazz youth and managed to make out of these individualities a great band which is success  in itself . 

Wacław Zimpel himself is already a star not only on Polish scene but also internationally. Such his bands as Hera or Undivided are among most important on European scene and although he owes much to years of cooperation with Ken Vandermark he found his own voice and his path is entirely unique. Paweł Szamburski and Michał Górczyński, though less known, have equally interesting carreers taking parts in such high quality projects as respectively Tupika, Horny Trees, SzaZa or Cukunft and Profesjonalizm.

As far as music is concerned it sounds fresh and engaging from the start to the end. Great advantage of this project is its coherency and beauty of sound. One is immediately immersed in myriads of unique combinations of sounds as produced by different types of clarinets and different  attitudes of artists playing on them. What this projects lacks is some compositional backbone which would give this music some internal propulsion. This is however typical fault of many freeimprov recordings and this one shares with others such disadvantage. Therefore I am waiting impatiently for next project of this group (already underway), which I have had opportunity to listen to during concerts and which will comprise much more composed material while retaining enough space for improvisation to keep its spontaneous and free in character... All in all this is our new album of the month!  

Track listing: 1. Upper Trias Caspian Fugue; 2. Ross Omac Attack; 3. Dream Analyzer; 4. No Smoking In Hell; 5. Climbing And Sliding; 6. Small Dictators; 7. Kresto; 8. Re Constructive De Constructive; 9. Monastery Monsters; 10. Prince of Fiasco; 11. Builderblock.pampim; 12. Cenozoic - Kenobi; 13. Watching Edward; 14. Invitation To Anorak Party; 15. Tender Dictator; 16. Last Turn Around The Room

By Maciej Nowotny

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