Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jachna/Buhl - Atropina (2014)

Jachna/Buhl

Wojciech Jachna - trumpet, fluegelhorn, loops, electronics
Jacek Buhl - drums, percussion

Atropina 

REQUIEM 76/2014





This is the third album by Polish Jazz duo comprising of trumpeter Wojciech Jachna and drummer Jacek Buhl. Although they released in 2013 a digital-only album of archival lo-fi material, called "Tapes" (recorded between 2009 and 2011), which could be theoretically counted as their third release, it was a side-kick project and therefore not a part of the duo's formal discography, in spite of it's high quality musical content. The current album includes nine original compositions, all co-composed by the duo members.

Musically the duo continues the formula they developed earlier, which mixes ambient atmospheric themes with improvisation and Jazzy expressions, creating a fascinating mixture of sounds, which is absolutely their own. This music is quite beyond classification, and fortunately the local Polish scene nurtures such experimentation, which has a solid fan base there, certainly more opened towards unusual music than in other parts of the world.

Jachna is surely one of the most interesting trumpeters arriving on the scene in the last decade or so, with a completely individual sound and phrasing, which I personally find irresistible. It has an edge of suspense and griminess that most straight-forward trumpeters both eschew and find unaesthetic, whereas in reality simply sound marvelous. He also remains a minimalist, playing just the right little notes exactly when they are needed and absolutely nothing more, a quality rarely found among his peers.

Buhl is an ideal partner for Jachna, attentive and supportive, filling the space with a wealth of percussive sounds of all sorts but also often carrying the actual melody line. His subtle playing is a showcase of good taste and elegance, as well as incredible musicality and technique. Together they create music, which in spite of its unfussiness is full of expressiveness and emotion.

As this album clearly shows, the Jachna/Buhl duo managed to create a music microcosm for themselves, which is a considerable achievement for such relatively young musicians playing together for just a few years. I'm looking forward to their endeavor, which apparently is already underway. Well done again gents!

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