Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nucleon – Galofalot (2013) ****

Alexander Papierz - saxophone
Michal Dymny - guitar
Tomek Gluc - electronics
Jakub Rutkowski - drums
Bronislaw Duzy - trombone
Marcin Gagola - electronics


By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by Polish avant-garde Jazz group Nucleon, which consists of saxophonist Aleksander Papierz, guitarist Michal Dymny, electronics man Tomasz Gluc and drummer Jakub Rutkowski. Two guest musicians: trombonist Bronislaw Duzy and Marcin Gagola who uses FX (whatever special effects that means) also make an appearance. Their music is an amalgam of Jazz, Improvised Music, Rock, Ambient and Electronics, which somehow manages to sound sane and even make perfect sense.

The album includes ten original compositions, which are mostly credited to the entire ensemble. Although the music is obviously rather free and spontaneous, there is enough melodic content and rhythmic sanity, which make it fairly effortless to listen to, albeit perhaps not by less experienced music connoisseurs. This kind of musical creation is all about group improvisation and close cooperation between the musicians, which are splendidly achieved herein. As a result there are a few solos per se and most of the music is worked out between the collective performances. And yet there is melody, stated mostly by the saxophone, harmony and clear rhythmic patterns, which are easy to follow. Paradoxically this truly "strange" music is simply "nice" and pleasant.

Nucleon is just one of many superb Improvised Music / Avant-Garde ensembles active currently in Poland, and they certainly represent the renaissance of musical inventiveness, similar to what happened (on a different musical plane) to the early Polish Jazz after WWII. This phenomenon is heartwarming, especially at a time when Culture and Art are on the defense and retreat most of the time.

This album requires several listening sessions in order to really get into it, but it only gets better each time it's played, so the process is really a pleasant experience. I had tremendous fun getting to know this album and enjoyed every minute of it. This is "weird" music in the best meaning of the term and wholeheartedly recommended to every serious music lover. Brace yourself for a ride!

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