Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hunger Pangs - Meet Meat (ForTune Records, 2013)

Hunger Pangs (band)

Marek Kądziela - guitar
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, microKORG, balkan horn
Kasper Tom Christiansen - drums

Meet Meat (ForTune Records, 2013)

By Dirk Blasejezak

Actually, I did not want to discuss the name, because I do not think (i.e. hope) that the musicians of this trio from Poland and Denmark have to fight with significant consequences of hunger.

Nevertheless, the first association of course is that of the hunger for personal development, for art and creativity. It can indeed lead to mental and physical problems when someone is hindered in his self-unfolding - maybe that can be called pain too. But even here the band members should not be affected as they are touring for several years in many different formations in Poland, Denmark and Germany and have already been mentioned many times on this blog. The liner notes then indeed clarify that the name of the trio stems from a book.

You can feel though that on this album three came together who are bound and determined. Uncompromisingly they lay before the listener their own compositions, most of which were written by Marek Kądziela. From the first song onward it is clear that the three are not here to produce a "nice" album - these songs had to get out.

Marek Kądziela and Kasper Tom Christiansen were mentioned together on this blog before with their band "K.R.A.N." - at that time still caught in the mainstream (see:, a conception which I could verify for myself at a concert some years ago. However, specifically Kasper Tom Christiansen has remained in my memory, and also the very unexcited, but very variable play of Marek Kądziela. I am glad that these two are back together here and could get Tomasz Dabrowski (Tom Trio), one of the most exciting trumpeters of Poland, into the boat (Tomasz and Marek already know each other from other projects, e.g. Off Quartet). And the result is a real gem!

It is not free jazz, but it is free from conventions. Many changes, mostly in fast tempos and a stunning interplay. Either the three have practiced together for a very, very long time or they understand each other instinctively. They definitely play on the same wavelength and so it doesn’t matter that there is no bass player to be found on any of the recordings - either Marek Kądziela fulfills that part or Tomasz Dabrowski creates the missing depth with the microKORG.

I particularly like the first part of the record as towards the end the songs are too tightly composed. Although the compositions themselves are far from being boring, the flow gets a little lost and the musicians receive significantly fewer space for their own solo play. But that does not at all becloud the overall impression, as the entire album is just too strong! Especially if you consider this a debut album. An unconditional recommendation and certainly one of the albums, that at the end of the year will be in the top lists of many jazz fans.

A short look into the recording sessions in 2010:

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