Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oles Brothers / Kenny Werner – Shadows (2006) ****

Kenny Werner - piano
Marcin Oles - bass
Bartlomiej Brat Oles - drums

FENOMMEDIA 005






By Adam Baruch

This is a superb album recorded by Polish Jazz musicians: bassist Marcin Oles and drummer Bartlomiej Brat Oles, collectively known as Oles Brothers, with the great American pianist Kenny Werner. Together, as a classic piano trio, they perform eight original compositions, seven of which were composed by Bartlomiej Brat Oles and one by Marcin Oles.

Werner is an ideal partner for the Oles Brothers, as he one is of very few American pianists, who combine the Jazz tradition with modernism and are ready to step outside of the stuffy norms which keep most of American Jazz within the conceptual prison of mainstream.

The Oles Brothers also combine the very same qualities; on one hand the respect and love towards the Jazz tradition and canon but at the same time a continuous drive to discover new forms and ways of expression, which will expand the genre's horizons. The full compatibility is immediately apparent and the resulting music is amongst the best of the Oles Brothers achievements.

The music is based on solid melodies and typical piano trio approach to improvisation, which features extensive piano solos and intense accompaniment with occasional bass / drums solos. Werner is wonderfully lyrical, even when the notes he produces are distant from the melodic themes and enter the Free realm. The rhythm section is with him at all times, warmly supportive and intelligently sympathetic. Overall the album is a delight to all piano trio connoisseurs, and ranks among the true minor classics of that Jazz category.

Considering how well this trio sounds it is a pity that the Oles Brothers did not record with Werner again – perhaps this can be remedied, hopefully soon. Of course it would be most interesting to hear them with other pianist of similar status as well. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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