Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pink Freud – Punk Freud (2007)

Pink Freud (band)

Wojciech Mazolewski - bass, percussion
Tomasz Zietek - trumpet
Tomasz Duda - saxophone, bass clarinet
Marcin Masecki - Hammond B3, Wurlitzer electric piano
Kuba Staruszkiewicz - drums

Punk Freud (2007)

This is the 5th album (and the first on Universal) by Polish ensemble Pink Freud, which managed to gain considerable popularity on the local scene, both with Jazz and non-Jazz listeners and critics alike. 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.

Musically the group offers a unique amalgam of genres and musical directions, originating with Jazz and improvisation, but also encompassing elements of Punk Rock, dub, jungle, drum and bass and electronic music. In many respects it is a direct continuation of the Yass movement, which flourished in Poland in the 1990s, and could be referred to as post-Yass. Since Yass was initially intended as an expression of rebellion against the established Jazz canons, which many young musicians felt to be stagnant, post-Yass took the rebellion a bit further out, emphasizing the cross-genre trend, groove and even dance elements, which resulted in the music being much more widely accessible. As opposed to the intellectual image that Jazz is usually associated with, this music is intelligent fun music, with some Jazz associations, and should be treated as such, no more and no less. 

On this album Pink Freud appear as trio with the leader and two other founding members: trumpeter Tomasz Zietek and drummer Kuba Staruszkiewicz. Saxophonist Tomasz Duda appears on five of the ten tracks and two female strings players guest on two of the tracks. Nine of the ten tracks on this album are original compositions by the participants and the last track is their interpretation of a Charles Mingus tune. The music is a typical Pink Freud mix of musical ideas, stylistically all over the place, but unified by the highly energetic and expressive delivery. The music definitely retains the rebellious spirit and often lacks the precision and flawlessness a Jazz fan might expect, but one must not forget this music is not about these qualities at all and therefore should not be judged by them. The ultimate question is the overall impression and effect this music has on a listener and if it is successful to make the listener spend an hour having fun while listening, it achieved its goal. Let's make no mistakes here; parts of this music are quite complex and advanced, requiring attentive listening and seriously challenging the listener's ear. Some listeners will mentally "skip" these parts at first, but might (hopefully) discover them later. Regardless of what one might think about Pink Freud and their music, one thing is sure: they can not be ignored. Definitely worth investigating!

1. Dziwny jest ten Kraj 3:13
2. Sex Przemoc Lek i Niemoc 6:22
3. Piasek Piasek Kupa Piasku 2:41
4. Velvet 4:35
5. Wszystko Plynie (intro woda) 2:50
6. Wszystko Plynie 4:02
7. PowiedzialElk 1:50
8. PornoPogoda 4:33
9. PoliceJazz 3:55
10. Canon 11:27

By Adam Baruch

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