Saturday, August 25, 2012

Simple Acoustic Trio - Habanera (2000)

Simple Acoustic Trio

Marcin Wasilewski - piano
Sławomir Kurkiewicz - double-bass
Michał Miśkiewicz - drums

Habanera (2000)

This is the 4th album by the Polish Jazz ensemble Simple Acoustic Trio, which consists of pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz. Of the eight tracks on this album five were composed by Wasilewski, one by Kurkiewicz, another by the Polish Jazz legend Tomasz Stanko, who employed the trio as his rhythm section for several years and finally the title track by Spanish composer Miguel Blanco.

Recorded just before the trio recorded the three seminal albums for the ECM label with Stanko (as his sidemen), this album is definitely a turning point, which marks their arrival at the level of musical champions, paralleled only by very few other Jazz musicians in general and piano trios in particular. This was also their last album to be released on a Polish label, as they were about to be enlisted to the ECM roster as a trio in the days that followed.

Personally I love this transitory album and in many respects it is my favorite album by the trio, as it finds them completely mature and fully developed on one hand and still enthusiastic, hungry and burning on the other. As a result this album includes some of their best performances, which are full of elegance, virtuosity and sophistication, but at the same time are more relaxed and less constrained than their future work. Of course these are marvelous and devilishly talented musicians, so everything they do tends to be both perfect and beautiful, but these last glimpses of their youth and innocence are truly precious to me.

Whichever way one looks at this album, it remains a milestone of Polish Jazz, a superb opener for the 21st Century European Jazz and a must in any decent record collection. Since the ensemble managed to become an integral part of the history of Jazz piano trio, this album becomes an essential piece of the infinite puzzle called Jazz, which we love so much. Essential stuff!

By Adam Baruch

Tracklisting: 1. Habanera Excentrica (M. Angelo Blanco) [09:21] 2.Without Them (M. Wasilewski) [08:31] 3. Tamara (S. Kurkiewicz) [07:03] 4. Green Sky (T. Stańko) [06:00] 5. Furiozi (M. Wasilewski) [08:31] 6. Stravinsky (M. Wasilewski) [09:38] 7. Simple Song (M. Wasilewski) [03:35] 8.Simple Jungle (M. Wasilewski) [08:57] 

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