Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Olbrzym I Kurdupel – Frrrr… (EP) (2008)

Tomasz Gadecki - saxophone
Marcin Bozek - bass guitar

PRIVATE EDITION







By Adam Baruch

This album the debut recording by the Polish Avant-Garde Jazz duo Olbrzym I Kurdupel or saxophonist Tomasz Gadecki and bassist Marcin Bozek. It includes six original pieces, which time in total just under half an hour and therefore counts as an EP, although it also includes a video of a live performance by the duo, which also times at about half an hour hence one could call it an enhanced EP.

Recorded a short time after the duo met and started to play together, this album is less adventurous than the material they recorded later on for their next full album, with the pieces based on predetermined themes, but already explores the ideas of spontaneous improvisation and composition. Saxophone and bass (electric bass in this case) are quite an unusual pairing, with few examples that one can draw comparisons to, which is all for the best, as they are quite an unique phenomenon. Gadecki plays very much in the early Free Jazz tradition with long, convoluted lines and progressions, while Bozek adds series of rapid pulsations during the up-tempo numbers or reserved bass chords on the more lyrical pieces. There is still a strong melodic feeling, although melodies are not played per se.

There is an obvious empathy and mutual respect, which make this music tick, apparent in the way the two musicians listen to each other all the time with great sensitivity and complement each other musically. It is certainly heartwarming to find such amount of open-mindedness and experimentation these young musicians are blessed with. Olbrzym I Kurdupel is just one of many Avant-Garde Jazz ensembles active in Poland and the fact that such music is thriving there is truly amazing considering that the world at large is steadfastly plunging into moronic anti-music.

Definitely worth exploring, although quite difficult to find as it was not commercially released. Free Jazz buffs will have a field day listening to this one!

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