Second Exit (band)
Piotr Łyszkiewicz - tenor & soprano saxophones, percussion
Ove Volquartz - contrabass clarinet, soprano saxophone
Piotr Zabrodzki - bass guitar, synthesizer, piano
Michał Trela - drums, percussion
Spoon (ForTune, 2014)
By Dirk Blasejezak
By Dirk Blasejezak
This album took me a bit, but it was more than worth it! I can only advise anybody to take the time and let this album sink in, then it will reveal it's depth.
I am particularly pleased that it is finally once again a Polish-German production, which has led to such a great result. Ove Volquartz as the German representative (from Göttingen) and Piotr Łyszkiewicz, of course, stood out on first listening - especially in the first piece: the duel of two soprano saxophones is very demanding for the listener with its intensity and the relentlessness of both musicians. On the other tracks too the two reeds mostly come as a pair and enclose each other in an extremely exciting way. I have to admit though that I'm always positively biased when someone unboxes a contrabass clarinet.
Only on the second listening of "Well Ride" I noticed the work of Piotr Zabrodzki in the background. Of the four musicians, he is probably best known to the Polish audience. His work includes highs (Trylobit, Baaba Kulka) as well as lows (LXMP), but with this album it has definitely reached a new peak. Here his incredible versatility is visible or better audible in each track. In "Well Ride" he adds, through his synthesizer sounds, to the above mentioned depth; in "Mysterious Colours" he plays the bass guitar - starting around minute 18:00 you can very well get a picture of his skills on this instrument. And in the last piece ("Some message from Olivier (ECPM)"), he sits on one of the solo instruments: the piano. And in all three roles you have the feeling as if he had never done anything else. Wonderful!
However, I also have to say a few words to Michał Trela - that he is the last to write about is not to be understood as a rating. Quite the contrary: His hard, rocking, and extremely precise play (his solo in "Ride Well", I think, makes clear what I mean) gives the music in many parts an entirely new note, it’s changing the direction. I like this style very much; especially in collective improvisations I always feel comfortable when one of the musicians builds some kind of a handrail for me to stroll along. To my regret, I did not know him yet, but he has recently (again on ForTune) released an album with the "Erase" quartet, that I just have not yet had the chance to listen to. I am particularly curious about his future projects.
On the whole, this is a record of exceptional quality, an absolute recommendation. Among the authors of the Polish Jazz blog there even was a discussion about making this album the Album of the Month - I voted against it. Maybe I even regret it a little, after listening to it a few times. The main reason for my decision was not that this record would not have deserved it (I’m certain that in 10 out of 12 months of any year I would have agreed without hesitation!), but that there are simply several outstanding albums this month. How happy the jazz scene can be about that - especially if, as in this case, those are the scenes of two countries.