Saturday, October 4, 2014

J.A.S.S. Trio – Kosmodrom (2013)

J.A.S.S. Trio

Stanisław Słowiński - violin
Justyn Małodobry - bass
Adam Stępniowski - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the young Polish Jazz trio, called J.A.S.S. Trio, which consists of violinist Stanislaw Slowinski, bassist Justyn Malodobry and drummer Adam Stepniowski. The album presents nine original compositions, all credited collectively to the trio, and one arrangement of a Krzysztof Komeda theme. The album is packaged in a round metal can, which is a nice, although definitely not a new gimmick.

The music is mostly freely improvised, based on basic melodic themes, which serve as skeletons and reference points for the improvisations. The pieces created by the trio could be perceived as imaginary soundtracks created on the spot. The violin is obviously at the center of attention, but the excellent rhythm section is an integral part of the creation and keeps the music afloat. Together the trio members achieve a magical, eerie atmosphere, which sometimes sounds like electronic ambient music, but the rhythmic pulse keeps the listener on his toes and emphasizes the Jazz reference behind this music. They often use a drone / repetitive effect to create an unearthly ambience, which is both enchanting and scary.

The individual contributions are all first rate, and as usual, considering the young age of the musicians, quite phenomenal. The entire concept and musical adventure undertaken by this trio is highly unusual and openly bold, which happens very rarely these days. Hopefully they will solidify and purify their musical ideas in time, to produce even more wonderful music than on this album, which has a few weaker moments, having an adverse effect, like the pretentious closing track which is thirteen minutes of white noise – who do they think they are after all?

Overall this is a surprising debut, which shows tons of potential, to be explored in the future. Not bad at all!

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