Saturday, April 5, 2014

F.O.U.R.S. Collective – Treezz (2014) ****

Michal Salamon - piano
Piotr Schmidt - trumpet
Stanislaw Plewniak - saxophone
Jakub Dworak - bass
Szymon Madej - drums

SJ 010




By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by a young Polish Jazz ensemble F.O.U.R.S. Collective, formed in 2010. The current quintet lineup was completed when the trumpeter Piotr Schmidt joined the existing members: saxophonist Stanislaw Plewniak, pianist Michal Salamon, bassist Jakub Dworak and drummer Szymon Madej. The album presents nine original compositions, five composed by Salamon and four co-composed by Salamon and Plewniak.

The music is immediately recognizable as "spanking new", full of energy and vigor, which often characterizes the young Polish Jazz generation. Although kept well within the mainstream / melodic idiom, the music demonstrates a wide range of stylistic approaches, touching upon Jazz-Rock Fusion, classic modern Jazz and amalgamating World Music elements. But most importantly the level of the compositions is absolutely outstanding. Every tune on this album is a little gem, with a beautiful melody line, flowing structure and an ideal vehicle for improvisations.

The individual performances are also first class; Salamon plays delicate acoustic piano and funky electric, Plewniak is especially effective on the soprano and the rhythm section does exactly what is right at all times, driving the music forward and providing the pulse which is an essential ingredient of this music. Schmidt, who is the most experienced player in the ensemble, sounds also invigorated in this setting and delivers some scorching trumpet solos.

As a debut this is quite an achievement in any sense. Superb music, great playing, talent, determination and musical intelligence are all clearly visible here and hopefully this is just the first stem in a long a successful future career. Well done amigos!

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