Monday, April 18, 2016

Paweł Niewiadomski Quartet – Introduction (2015)

Paweł Niewiadomski Quartet

Paweł Niewiadomski - trombone
Jakub Skowroński - tenor saxophone
Ksawery Wójciński - double bass
Wojciech Romanowski - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish trombonist/composer Paweł Niewiadomski recorded in a quartet setting with saxophonist Jakub Skowroński, bassist Ksawery Wójciński and drummer Wojciech Romanowski. The album presents six original compositions, all by Niewiadomski.

Trombone-led Jazz ensembles are relatively rare and therefore every time one of those lands on my lap it receives special attention. In this case the attention turned out to we well justified, as this album is definitely a surprising gem. The music, although based on melodic themes stated at the beginning, develops into a Free Form group improvisation, which are full of passion and imaginative approach to the expanded Jazz idiom.

Although still relatively young, these musicians are all experienced improvisers and excellent instrumentalists, with skills, technique and evident talent. These qualities, combined with the obvious camaraderie and mutual respect between the quartet members enables a creative atmosphere which results in very effective musical achievements. The resulting music is cohesive, highly passionate and aesthetically just right, which is a pleasure to listen to.

The individual statements by the quartet members are all top notch: Niewiadomski pushes the limited trombone possibilities into the realm of physically impossible, Skowroński adds his convoluted saxophone statements, Wójciński holds the entire album together with his superb bass pulsations, which are nothing short of sheer virtuosity and finally Romanowski adds fire and brimstone to the proceedings, topping the overall sound with condensed rhythmic ornaments. The trombone/saxophone unisono parts, which later develop into fiery exchanges, are the highlights of this album, but the overall level of performances is incredibly high.

This is definitely a most impressive debut, introducing another player on the Polish Improvised Music scene, which is worth being followed, expecting only the best to come. This album will be very hard to beat, so I'm already waiting to hear the follow up, but in the meantime this is something the trombone connoisseurs and Polish Jazz fans will definitely not want to miss. Magnificent playing!

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