Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trzaska/Mazur/Pandi – Tar & Feathers (2014)


Mikołaj Trzaska - saxophone
Rafał Mazur - bass
Balazs Pandi - drums

Tar & Feathers


By Adam Baruch

This is a live recording of an exciting meeting between two Polish Improvised Music players: saxophonist Mikolaj Trzaska and bassist Rafal Mazur with Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi associated with European avant-garde/alternative/improvised Rock. The concert was captured at the A38 Club in Budapest, which is in fact a ship anchored to a pier on the Danube River. The album includes six original improvised pieces, all credited to the three performers.

In many respects the music captured here is more "conventional" that most of other projects, which Trzaska is usually associated with. Probably the solid rhythmic drumming by Pandi and fairly melodic bass lines by Mazur influenced Trzaska's performance, moderating his untamed instincts. As a result the overall flow of the mostly up-tempo material is quite accessible to open-minded Jazz listeners, who usually don't plunge into Improvised Music.

As usual in such situations, the level of cooperation between the musicians is what makes the resulting music cohesive and focused. Trzaska is usually directed by a fine taste when choosing his partners and this encounter is no different. The dynamic and powerful rhythm section certainly pushes his playing into areas, which go back to his days with the legendary ensemble Milosc.

Another aspect of this recording is the contact between the burgeoning Improvised Music scene in Poland and the relatively smaller but very interesting scene developing lately in Hungary, which deserves to be discovered. Hopefully this album could serve as a trigger to more such collaborations.

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