Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pink Freud - Horse & Power (2012) by Adam Baruch

Pink Freud (band)

Wojtek Mazolewski - bass guitar
Tomasz Duda - baritone sax, bas clarinet
Adam Milwiw-Baron - trumpet, trombone, vocal, electronics
Rafal Klimczuk - dr

Horse & Power (2012)

This is the 8th album by Polish ensemble Pink Freud, one of the country's top acts both in the Jazz and non-Jazz spheres. Formed in 1998 by bassist / composer Wojciech Mazolewski, the group changed its lineup several times over the years but succeeded to maintain its popularity and gradually achieved a cult following and a large fan base home and abroad. This album was recorded in a new quartet lineup, which features, alongside the leader, trumpeter Adam Milwiw-Baron, saxophonist Tomasz Duda and for the first time new drummer Rafal Klimczuk. All the ten tracks on this album are original compositions by the group members with Mazolewski being credited or co-credited for all but one composition. 

In full contrast to their last album ("Monster Of Jazz"), recorded almost three years earlier, this album is a complete stylistic "about face", marking the group's return to almost acoustic Jazz, with the electronic, dub and other non-Jazz elements completely gone. Of course this is still Pink Freud, with their unique brand of post-Yass, characterized by non-Jazz rhythm patterns, nonchalant treatment of chord changes and other signs of the "coolness" poise, but also full of passion and surprising ventures into Free Jazz soloing and funky bass parts, all of these happening out of the blue, which of course is absolutely marvelous, if one likes such atypical musical approach. And those great melodies, which were almost completely lost on the preceding album, are back, haunting the listener, turning him into a humming zombie. 

People familiar with Mazolewski's activities should not be taken by complete surprise by this album, since his excellent solo album "Smells Like Tape Spirit", released in between the two last Pink Freud albums, already hinted as to the return of the prodigal son to Jazz. So here we have a group that changes like the proverbial chameleon, adopting to contemporary developments and returning to the tradition, and yet managing to keep their musical originality and integrity intact, which is definitely a great accomplishment. Above all, this music, apart for its quality, intelligent compositions and excellent execution, manages to be such fun. Imagine hearing this stuff live and one can understand why the group mesmerizes audiences all over the world taking no prisoners. So regardless if this music is driven by horse power, steam power or nuclear power, it is worthy of music connoisseurs attention and should not be missed, for fun's sake. Brilliant stuff!

Track listing:
1. Konichiwa
2. Bourbon
3. Pink Hot Loaded Guns
4. Promised Land
5. Flying Dolphy
6. G-Spot
7. Vinegar Pauper
8. Tickets, Buttons And Flyer
9. Horse And Power
10. Zero Ending Story

By Adam Baruch

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