Sunday, January 27, 2013

Noya / Jakubek / Maseli – Live (2012)

Nippy Noya - percussion
Zbigniew Jakubek - keyboards
Bernard Maseli - vibraphone


By Adam Baruch

This album presents a live recording of a trio, which comprises of world famous Indonesian (living in Netherlands) percussionist Nippy Noya and two veteran Polish Jazz musicians: keyboardist Zbigniew Jakubek and vibraphonist Bernard Maseli. The album includes six original compositions, four of which were composed by Maseli and two by Jakubek. Three of these compositions receive extended treatment and carry on for twelve and up to seventeen minutes, while the other three last the usual six / seven minutes. The sound quality is excellent and every detail of the music is perfectly audible, even though it was recorded live.

The music is mostly ambient and atmospheric, with a strong Jazz-Rock orientation, although much more fragile and delicate than the usual output of the genre. A strong World Music influence is also evident. The melodies are stated clearly and are the basis of the extended improvised passages. Jakubek often plays the bass lines using his instruments, so at times the music sounds like being performed by a quartet. The overall atmosphere is reminiscent of several Pat Metheny recordings with his group featuring keyboardist Lyle Mays.

The music is relaxed and flows gently from one track to another, but manages to stay inside the creative limits of the Jazz parameters, without spilling over into the muzak territory, which is usually where such undertakings eventually arrive at. Both Jakubek and Maseli play some truly great solos here and keep the music interesting, with Noya sticking to his percussive background. This is obviously an album, which belongs to the "lighter" side of Jazz, but it is does neither compromise the participating musicians nor insult the listener.

Not exactly my cup of tea, but I suspect that many listeners will love this album to bits, which is perfectly fine with me. This album is definitely recommended to those folks, who love melodic and well played music, which does not make your teeth ache.

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