Sunday, August 26, 2012

RGG - True Story (2009) by Adam Baruch

RGG (band)

Przemyslaw Raminiak (piano)
Maciej Garbowski (bass)
Krysztof Gradziuk (drums)

True Story (2009)





This is the 4th album by the Polish Jazz ensemble RGG, which consists of pianist Przemyslaw Raminiak, bassist Maciej Garbowski and drummer Krzysztof Gradziuk. A monumental undertaking recorded "live" in the studio in just two days and resulting in two CDs, each presenting sixteen pieces, varying in duration from just over a minute to over six minutes, all of which are on the spot improvisations, except for the first introductory piece on each CD. All the music is accredited to all three RGG members. The album was recorded in the legendary Studio Tokarnia and engineered by Jan Smoczynski, the studio owner, a guarantee of superb sonic quality.

The album's title, consistent with the titles of the two albums which preceded this release, includes the word "story", which clearly points out to the fact that the trio members conceive their music-making as a process of storytelling, metaphysically of course, but nevertheless quite significantly. Music is, after all, a reflection of the musician's personality and his life experience, not just a detached intellectual creation of his mind. The storytelling influences the character of the music dramatically and is responsible for it being wonderfully communicative, even though it is completely free stylistically. RGG manage to create perhaps the most "talkative" form of Free Jazz ever encountered, which enables every Jazz listener, including those with little or even no Free Jazz experience, to absorb and most importantly enjoy this music. Amazingly, the album creates an overall aura of serenity and composure, although it is in fact full of creative tensions and convolutions.

As in all piano trio music, and especially in case the music is highly improvised, the key element is the musical bond developed between the trio members, which in the best of cases involves truly telepathic communication. RGG definitely fall in that category, displaying an amazing level of group consciousness, collective improvisation ability and above all enormous mutual respect. The solo spot moves freely between the instruments, as the trio members clearly share the storytelling duties equally, supporting and complimenting each other rather than competing with each other. This incredible level of cooperation is the trio's most formidable asset.

But of course each of the trio members is a great instrumentalist, regardless if he plays solo or is part of the duo and trio format. Perhaps more so that in any other piano trio setting, RGG eschews the concept of a "leader" and presents a concept of a music unit, which is much greater than a sum of its parts. That is why RGG is able to produce such extraordinary music, which has few equals anywhere in the world.

Polish Jazz aficionados will of course try the unavoidable comparison between RGG and the "other" great Polish Jazz piano trio, the Simple Acoustic Trio. For a true music lover there is no competition here whatsoever, and these two great ensembles compliment each other rather than compete with each other. Polish Jazz is simply lucky to have two such brilliant piano trios creating music in tandem.

This is definitely some of the finest Polish Jazz ever recorded, and some of the most wonderful piano trio music ever created. It would be criminal to miss this album, something a true music connoisseur should avoid at all costs. This stuff is essential for the mental health of those, who are lucky to immerse in its splendor.

By Adam Baruch
http://kochamjazz.blox.pl



Tracklisting:

Act I (CD 1)
Prologue I
Scene I
Scene II
Scene III
Scene IV
Scene V
Scene VI
Scene VII
Scene VIII
Scene IX
Scene X
Scene XI
Scene XII
Scene XIII
Scene XIV
Epilogue I

Act II (CD 2)
Prologue II
Scene I
Scene II
Scene III
Scene IV
Scene V
Scene VI
Scene VII
Scene VIII
Scene IX
Scene X
Scene XI
Scene XII
Scene XIII
Scene XIV
Epilogue II

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