Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Custom Trio – Back Point (2002) ****


Krzysztof Kapel - saxophone
Marcin Oles - bass
Bartlomiej Brat Oles - drums

NOT TWO 736







By Adam Baruch
 
This is the second album by the Polish Custom Trio, which consists of saxophonist Krzysztof Kapel, bassist Marcin Oles and drummer Bartlomiej Brat Oles (collectively known as Oles Brothers – Poland's most respected Free Jazz rhythm section). Saxophonist Maciej Sikala guests on one track. In between the recording of their debut album and this one, the trio also recorded a couple of albums with the legendary trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski, one of them live with a different saxophonist (Janusz Smyk). The album includes eight original compositions, five of which were composed by Bartlomiej Brat Oles and the remaining three by Marcin Oles.

For people familiar with the previous recordings by the Custom Trio will find this album quite surprising, as it is much more "docile" then any of their former work. The music is low-key, contemplative and very melodic, the rhythm section is relaxed and almost "conventional" and the saxophone improvisations, which are the focus of the album, although very Free Jazz in spirit, are all non aggressive and rounded. The overall sound and ambience of the album are very Coltranesque, which of course brings this album to a much wider potential audience, well beyond the Free Jazz buffs and into the modern mainstream.

The individual statements are of course exceptional, especially those by Kapel, who emerges on this album as one of the most able Polish Jazz modernists. But of course the Oles Brothers firmly testify their amazing interplay and cooperation, which is as usual the driving force and solid ground upon which the saxophone solos are based. The album is full of virtuosity from start to finish and should satisfy even the sternest Jazz connoisseurs. It is a pity this album is rarely mentioned among the best Polish Jazz recordings originating from the first post Millennium decade, as it truly deserves. What a pity they did not continue to record any more such wonderful music.

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