Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jacek Kochan - Man of No Words (Gowi, 2008)

Jacek Kochan - drums, electronics, additional bass

Gary Thomas - tenor saxophone
Dominik Wania - piano
Michał Barański - bass

Andrzej Bauer, Adam Simmons, Dag Einar Eilertsen, Marek Konstantynowicz, Michał Moc, Krystyna Stańko, Kuba Badach 

Man of No Words (Gowi, 2008)

Polish drummer / composer / arranger Jacek Kochan is one of the country's most active music leaders with an impressive and prolific career in both Jazz and contemporary experimental music. Kochan spent considerable periods of time living, studying and performing in the USA and Canada and upon his return to Poland in the mid 1990s he swiftly established his position as a central figure on the local scene. Since then he recorded a considerable number of albums as a leader, co-leader and sideman with many musicians from around Europe and the US as well as local musicians of course. This is a document of one of such projects, which features alongside the leader the US saxophonist Gary Thomas with excellent young Polish pianist Dominik Wania and bassist Michal Baranski. This quartet is expanded on several tracks by guest musicians playing various instruments or vocalizing. 

All the music on the album (ten listed and one unlisted "hidden" track) was composed and arranged by Kochan and presents his talents as a composer in their full glory. The music is a mixture of contemporary, melodic mainstream Jazz, with some almost contemporary Classical music arrangements on one hand and a lot of free space on the other, which allows for expanded improvisations by the soloists. Kochan's brilliant and as usual completely unusual drumming and his electronic sound effects complete the overall sound and atmosphere, which is full of tension and sense of urgency, which keeps the listener on edge at all times. Thomas and Wania play breathtaking solos and the entire ensemble sounds completely focused around the convoluted melody lines and tricky rhythm patterns, which just keep coming at the listener mercilessly. Listening to this music attentively is so intense, that one feels actual physical exhaustion by the time the music is over, as a result of the effort to get it all in one take. This music exists beyond any reasonable categorization, being intrinsically completely cross-genre. Jazz buffs and contemporary Classical music connoisseurs might find this to be just the cup of tea they love. In any case this music is simply too good to be ignored and if it happens to be available, should be consumed at once. Brilliant stuff!

Sample of music from this album may be found here:

Example of music from Jacek Kochan latest projects:

1. Absynthminded
2. Man of No Words
3. Manufactured Edge
4. Guru Bob
5. Authorized Future
6. Pre-smoked Cigarettes
7. Kowloon
8. Absinthe
9. Acidminded
10. World of Shined Shoes

By Adam Baruch

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