Sunday, September 15, 2013

Power Of The Horns - Alaman (2013)

Power Of The Horns (2013)

Piotr Damasiewicz - trumpet, voice
Adam Pindur - soprano sax
Maciej Obara - alto sax
Marek Pospieszalski - tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute, growl
Paweł Niewiadomski - trombone
Dominik Wania - piano
Max Mucha - double bass
Jakub Mielcarek - double bass
Wojciech Romanowski - drums
Gabriel Ferrandini - drums
Tomas Sanchez – percussion

Alaman (2013)

By Bartek Adamczak

I wrote briefly about the Power of the Horns on the occasion of their Warsaw Summer Jazz Days concert and I promised that I'd write more soon. "Alaman" is not only group's debut release but, with the number 001, it's also the first position in the catalogue of a new polish jazz music label ForTune, a quick view on their list makes you sure the guys are serious about publishing good music.

Power of the Horns is led by Piotr Damasiewicz whose responsbile for the compositions and for conducting the group that gathers together some of the hottest names on the polish modern jazz scene. They've been performing together for a couple of years, gaining a big, if underground, reputation, the official release was in fact long overdue.

Just to write down the names of the band members it seems like half of the review is done, this in fact a BIG band - five horns, three drummers, two basses, a piano - that's a high-decibel versatile tactical unit. The Horns referred by the group's name are the wind instruments, as one might think at first, but the bull's horns, like the ones you'd find on a Viking warrior's helmet.

"Alaman" is a name of the group of german tribes that would attack the western lands of Roman Empire. As the jazz evolved, big orchestral groups were a challenge for any composer - to expand the palette of sounds, to enrich the expression of an individual espression and to civilize the tones. Power of the Horns are the Allemani of jazz - young warriors trying to fight the civilisation.

The cd/dvd is comprised of three monumental pieces "Alaman", "Troid" and "Psalm for William Parker". The musis is at the same time monumental and rebelious. Damasiewicz compositions are based on infectious grooves and majestic vamps which emerge from the mysterious mists of meditative sounds and dissolve within the ecstatic madness of ferocious solos. The tunes and rhythms are irresistible and the bands walks the fine line of balance between arranged and spontaneous, between choir war-songs and individual explosions. There are speedy bop lines, solemn tunes, energetic riffs, percussion fiesta, fiery horn cries as well abstract impressionism (special recognition to Dominik Wania who manages to carve his own space in between the horns and rhythm section).

If you like like huge sound, this will not leave you dissapointed. What is more important though, Power of the Horns' music is not only about power - there's a vision behind it and means to realise it. Those guys are wild yet well organized - civilized jazz doesn't stand a chance against the Allemani tribe.



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