Saturday, September 1, 2012

Melech / Lonberg-Holm / Oleszak / Golebiewski – Divided By 4 (Multikulti, 2012)

Melech / Lonberg-Holm / Oleszak / Golebiewski

Piotr Mełech - clarinet, bass clarinet
Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello
Witold Oleszak - piano
Adam Gołębiewski - drums, cymbals, objects

Divided By 4 (Multikulti, 2012)

This is the debut album by Improvised Music quartet comprising of three Polish musicians: clarinetist Piotr Melech, pianist Witold Oleszak and drummer Adam olebiewski, who are joined by US cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. The album was recorded in one day, as appropriate for this kind of music, and the nine consecutively numbered improvisations are separated into the album's nine tracks. All music is co-credited to the four musicians.

Spontaneously improvised music, as the one presented here, has a very limited appeal to most music listeners and is usually considered as part of the "wild" avant-garde, inhibiting the extreme margins of the Jazz scene. Therefore the Polish Avant-Garde / Improvised Music scene, which is experiencing a remarkable Renaissance in the last decade, is an amazing phenomenon. Recordings, concerts, festivals and other activities, which happen in several cities across Poland, manage to draw listeners and enthusiasts from the native Poland, from all over Europe and even from across the pond. There is no logical explanation to the above, but the facts speak for themselves. Perhaps it is the longing for Freedom, which has always been a very "Polish" characteristic, emphasized by hundreds of years of political enslavement, created the proper intellectual ground in the Polish Culture to pursue Freedom, wherever possible?

The greatest problem with Improvised Music is the fact that is can transform in an instant from a cultural dialogue to an orgy, from a coherent sound structure into cacophony. The limits and boundaries are thin and flexible, and they probably differ from listener to listener. Therefore whatever makes sense to one listener can be completely confusing to another one. The only way to treat an album like this one is therefore to listen to it and decide for oneself.

Personally the most important factor in making Improvised Music recordings is the very fact they are made at all. Such recordings are obviously completely non-commercial (anti-commercial?) and there is no money to be made from them and therefore documenting the fact that such music was made becomes the only reason for them to be made at all. That and of course the intellectual pleasure of hearing four individuals communicating non-verbally on a "higher plane", if that is you "cup of tea".

Improvised Music fanatics will find this extremely interesting, most other will find it unlistenable, but who cares about the "most" anyway. The majority is always wrong ;)

By Adam Baruch

1. Improvisation One [7:52]
2. Improvisation Two [7:53]
3. Improvisation Three [4:59]
4. Impovisation Four [5:35]
5. Improvisation Five [7:58]
6. Improvisation Six [5:16]
7. Improvisation Seven [9:02]
8. Improvisation Eight [4:40]
9. Improvisation Nine [6:57]

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