Sunday, June 26, 2016

Payoff – Gorzkie Żale (2016)


Bartłomiej Wielgosz - tenor saxophone
Dawid Wieczorek - guitar
Michał Dzioboń - drums

Gorzkie Żale


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the Polish Improvised Music trio Payoff, which consists of saxophonist Bartłomiej Wielgosz, guitarist Dawid Wieczorek and drummer Michał Dzioboń. The album presents nine pieces, which are not credited on the album's cover and therefore are assumed as being co-composed by the trio members. The music is spiritually related to the Polish Catholic Church devotion called Lenten Lamentations, comprising of many hymns, which was developed in the 18th Century and is not celebrated outside of Poland.

The music, although improvised, contains strong melodic elements, which make it accessible to a much wider circle of listeners than the strictly Improvised Music albums. Additionally the usage of electric guitar and sound effects places the music somewhere in between Improvised Jazz and Improvised Rock, again expanding the potential audience.

The recording uses a lot of echo and delay, creating an effect simulating a live recording made in a wide space, possibly a church, which adds to the spirituality of this music. The overall effect moves between deep contemplation during the quiet passages and eruptions of despair during the more intense moments. The album manages to create a lasting tension and expectation from start to finish, which is one of its best qualities. The level of performance by all three members of the trio is impressive and includes elements of originality and an obvious sense of aesthetic beauty.

The level of interplay is also quite remarkable and the trio sounds like an organic amalgam of its members, achieving together a much stronger effect than the individual contributions, all this being another reason to give the album your ears. Although this kind of music is often too complex for the average listener, this album has plenty of merits which make it worth listening to. The music is absorbing, constantly developing and often fascinating, which overall promises a very interesting sonic experience. Definitely worth investigating!

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