Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oleś Brothers with Theo Jörgensmann & Christopher Dell - Fragment & Moments (2012)

Oleś Brothers with Theo Jörgensmann & Christopher Dell - Fragment & Moments (2012)

Theo Jörgensmann – bassett clarinet
Christopher Dell – vibraphone
Marcin Oleś – double bass
Bartłomiej Brat Oleś – drums

By Ken Shimamoto 

Polish twin brothers Marcin and Bartolmiej Brat Oles (b. 1973) have been recording together since 1999, in various co-led groups which often featured distinguished collaborators such as for example David Murray or  Ken Vandermark. This 2007 session, released early last year, teams them up with a pair of German musicians: Theo Jorgensmann on basset -- not bass -- clarinet (basically a soprano clarinet with an extended lower range, beloved of Mozart) and vibraphonist Christopher Dell.

Opening track “Ornettation” is a conversation between Jorgensmann and Bartolmiej Oles, reminiscent of the ones Coltrane used to conduct with Elvin Jones. The difference is that this one is loose-limbed rather than fervid in tone. Jorgensmann’s sound is reminiscent of the early clarinet masters, but with thoroughly modern ideas, say, like kind of European version of Perry Robinson. Bartlomiej floats the beat on his cymbals while detonating explosions of trap thunder. Vibraphonist Dell sketches the chordal framework and plays Gamelan-like solo lines, vocalizing as the band’s interplay builds intensity.

The brief “I Moment” is a moody ambient soundscape, while the longer “Deep Down” is a contemplative piece on which Marcin Oles’ bass alternately serves as a third melodic voice and provides searching pizzicato lines before Bartolmiej’s drums essay a notable thematic statement. Overall, a work of remarkable subtlety and detail that deserves to be heard.

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