Sunday, July 1, 2012

Maciej Garbowski - Elements (2012) by Adam Baruch

Maciej Garbowski – bass

Piotr Damasiewicz – trumpet
Jon Falt – drums

Elements (2012)

This is the debut album by the Polish Jazz bassist Maciej Garbowski, known to followers of the Polish Jazz scene as one third of the RBB trio. The album is a bold statement in every respect: it is recorded live and by an unconventional (trumpet / bass / drums) trio with young Polish trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz and Swedish drummer Jon Falt. The album comprises of a continuous suite of mostly improvised music, which includes some composed motifs by Garbowski and Damasiewicz, sometimes used only in part and sometimes quoted in full. These motifs serve as points of reference in the continual conversation between the musicians, which is obviously spontaneous but seems to have a sense of almost telepathic consistency. Although separated into six tracks on the album, this is definitely one piece of music, mood and celebration of freedom. 

The technical proficiency of these young musicians is simply astounding and their ability to generate alternative sounds on their respective instruments is awe-inspiring. Damasiewicz and his trumpet, which at times remind us of Don Cherry and Tomasz Stanko, taking the absolutely best lessons from both, is simply phenomenal. Hopefully his future recordings will give us more glimpses of his talent, since judging by this recording he is definitely heading in the right direction. Garbowski and his bass are virtuosic and enormously sensitive in this difficult setting, gluing the music together and supplying the anchor to stability, without restricting it in any sense. Falt and his drums, which are already familiar to Jazz connoisseurs from his work with pianist Bobo Stenson, is the icing on the cake, ornamenting the music with delicate caressing touches on the cymbals or energetic full-kit explosions, al done with taste and elegance. 

Overall this is a brilliant piece of Free Jazz, perfectly executed and full of inspired, serious music, which easily compares to the best recordings of this type done anywhere else in the world. If the future fate of Polish Jazz (and European Jazz in general) is in the hands of young musicians like these three, the older generation can rest assured that it is in good hands indeed. Polish Jazz fans should definitely seek out this gem as soon as possible. Brilliant stuff!

Track listing: 1. Tellus 5:58; 2. Oceanus 2:43; 3. Ventus 10:38; 4. Ignis 7:07; 5. Sonus 7:41; 6. Vitae 7:55

By Adam Baruch

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