Friday, March 9, 2012

Jacek Kochan - Double Life Of A Chair (GOWI, 2002)

Jacek Kochan - drums, bass, keyboards, loops, sample

Palle Mikkelborg - trumpet
Briggan Krauss - alto sax
Anthony Alexander - acoustic & electric bass
Henryk Gembalski - violin
Sławek Jaskułke - accordion

Double Life Of A Chair (GOWI, 2002)

Polish drum wiz, groove-king and multi-bandleader has upwards of a dozen discs out, each with different personnel from around the world, as well as some of downtown's best (Tronzo & Krauss here). Jacek seems to dig trumpet players and has worked with Kenny Wheeler, Cuong Vu, Eric Vloeimans, Franz Hautzinger and here he uses ECM great Palle Mikkelborg. This disc features a fine seven-piece band, the largest assemblage Jacek has recorded so far. Jacek works his wonders setting up sly, spacey, somewhat funky grooves that players can add their tones and colors to and solo on occasion. Often these slamming grooves push the soloists to come up with something different than what they are use to in their own situations. With so many fine musicians Jacek often selects melodic patterns that violin and accordion or the guitar and sax can add their harmonies to. Both Tronzo and Briggan Krause contribute one short piece each, mainly a solo interlude. On a couple of tracks Jacek sets up a quiet, spacious, slow groove so that Palle's muted trumpet and Tronzo's ultra subtle guitar can float on top. Rather than just set up some all-star jam sessions, Jacek works out each piece in advance so that the groove and background textures or loops provide a different challenge on each piece. I find Jacek Kochan to be more consistently successful than Nils Petter Molvaer who often provides a similar set-up, yet his results I find often less-than-engaging.

Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)

"Double life of a chair" is certainly one of the more interesting disks of the last years.... Jacek Kochan ...(has)... an obvious inclination to the leadership that agrees to put him in field with a project of large beauty... The attractive music of this album is not easily classifiable...

Maurizio Comandini (All About Jazz)

Track listing: 1. Alberta [08:34]; 2. Momentations [01:31]; 3. Indiano [05:51]; 4. What About Them Penguins On Hudson PKWY [04:04]; 5. Tjame [05:39]; 6. El Toro [07:13]; 7. What's Left [03:25]; 8. Gash [04:46]; 9. Day In Apparatus [00:55]; 10. Corporate Highlanders [05:59]; 11. Kowloon [07:31]; 12. If You Went That Far [01:42:00]

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