Tomasz Piątek - tenor saxophone
Jan Michalec - trumpet
Grzegorz Lesiak - guitar
Łukasz Downar - bass guitar
Krzysztof Redas - drums
The House Of Words
By Adam Baruch
This is the second album by Polish ensemble Tatvamasi, led by guitarist Grzegorz Lesiak, which also includes saxophonist Tomasz Piątek, trumpeter Jan Michalec, bassist Łukasz Downar and drummer Krzysztof Redas. The album consists of four lengthy compositions, all by Lesiak. Although not entirely unambiguous, it seems the music was recorded "live in the studio" as it includes applause, but the sound has all the characteristics of a studio recording, contrary to the statement that it was recorded during an open air concert.
Following their sensational debut album released on the American Cuneiform label, Tatvamasi continue their tale of success and manage to produce another piece of music, which is fascinating and highly original. The lineup, extended to quintet with the addition of the trumpeter, has more instrumental possibilities and skillfully uses that advantage on this album. All members of the ensemble contribute superb solo parts and participate in the group interplay amicably and intelligently.
The music, as usual with Tatvamasi, is quite beyond classification stylistically and merges many different cross-genre elements, mostly World Music melodic lines and repetitive chant-like progression, Rocky rhythmic patterns and Jazz improvisation. Lesiak's guitar playing also uses electronic and ambient sound effects. The amalgamated sound produces a trance inducing environment, which allows the soloists to spread their wings and extrapolate into their personal dimensions. Hypnotic and absorbing, this music is simply irresistible.
In contrast to the three soloists, the rhythm section shows a remarkable restrain, simply driving the music skillfully ahead, but not drawing the listener's attention away from the centerpiece. Nevertheless their contribution is an absolutely essential piece of the music, which would have been impossible without it. Tatvamasi successfully pass the "second album" test with flying colors and hopefully will continue to produce more of their unique music in the future. As usual in such cases I can't wait to hear their next album and in the meantime I invite every connoisseur of unusual, challenging music to get hold of a copy of this gem. Well done!