Monday, March 10, 2014

Oles Brothers – Chamber Quintet (2005) ****

Marcin Oles - bass
Bartlomiej Brat Oles - drums
Erik Friedlander - cello
Michael Rabinowitz - basoon
Emmanuelle Somer - oboe


By Adam Baruch

This is an interesting recording, initiated by Polish Improvised Music heroes, brothers Marcin Oles (bass) and Bartlomiej Brat Oles (drums) collectively know as Oles Brothers, which involves also three additional musicians: American cellist Erik Friedlander, American bassoon player Michael Rabinowitz and Belgian oboe player Emmanuelle Somer. They perform together as a quintet eleven pieces, nine of which were composed by Bartlomiej and two by Marcin.

The music presents an innovative idea to create Improvised Music, using Classical chamber instrumentation, ambience and to a certain extent also methodology. As farfetched and bizarre as the idea might appear at first, this album proves that is can be done and the result can genuinely offer some perfectly valid and beautiful music. The pieces present a wide range of musical ideas, some quite melodic, others more atmospheric, but always interesting and even fascinating.

The level of musicianship on this album is truly outstanding. All the participants possess virtuosic abilities and utilize them with astounding effectiveness. The same applies to their cooperation and the overall ensemble functionality. It is very difficult to believe that this is indeed Improvised Music, as it sounds completely coherent and synchronized at all times. To an innocent listener unaware of what is being played, this music might sound similar to contemporary Classical Music, with a twist, and after all it might be considered as such.

The album is a great example of the unlimited possibilities that music offers to the listeners, when created by daring and ground-breaking Artists. Assimilating many different elements, not only from Jazz and Classical Music, but also World Music, especially Jewish and Middle Eastern themes that are very clear to a trained ear, this is a true cross-genre excursion definitely worth experiencing. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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