Friday, September 4, 2015

Tomasz Dąbrowski/Free4Arts - Six Months And Ten Drops (2015)

Tomasz Dąbrowski/Free4Arts

Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, mutes
Sven Dam Meinild - baritone saxophone
Jacob Anderskov - piano
Kasper Tom - drums

Six Months And Ten Drops


By Adam Baruch

Polish (resident in Denmark) Jazz trumpeter/composer/bandleader Tomasz Dąbrowski is one of the leading upcoming European musicians and his prolific, almost feverish output manages to astound his fans time after time. This album follows suit several albums already released this year and as always maintains incredible quality. This time Dąbrowski leads a quartet, which besides him includes three leading young Danish Jazz musicians: baritone saxophonist Sven Dam Meinild, pianist Jacob Anderskov and drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen. The album presents seven original compositions, all by Dabrowski.

This music is more free oriented than Dąbrowski's explorations so far, which seems to be a continuing development in his work. It is therefore further away from mainstream Jazz and explores other areas, like contemporary Chamber music and improvised avant-garde, although based on written themes. The entire scheme of using the quartet is also very unusual, as there is no conventional "soloists vs. rhythm section" setting at all, only an ensemble performance by the entire quartet as one body. The exclusion of the bass is also very significant, where some of the typical bass parts are taken over by the baritone sax and others by the percussion. This music is only as good as the level of cooperation achieved by the quartet members and therefore the interplay is its central ingredient. Luckily for Dąbrowski these three musicians belong to the same "school of thought" like himself, enabling the quartet to become a unity.

There is no doubt that this music points towards a new epoch of Jazz, which becomes an amalgam of all forms of improvised music, those previously experienced and those still undiscovered. Dąbrowski and his generation are brave pioneers of these uncharted territories and it's a great experience to bear witness while this music keeps unfolding in real time in Copenhagen, Warsaw, Berlin and other parts of Europe.

This is quite difficult music for most people, no doubt about it, but it is also deeply rewarding and intellectually challenging. It is spearheaded by a relatively tiny group of musicians and has a limited audience. Nevertheless it encompasses perhaps some of the most important musical developments happening in a world which is rapidly turning away from challenge and cultural progress, and therefore becomes even more significant. It is in these young people that we entrust our Cultural feature.

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