Monday, August 15, 2016

Dys/Jörgensmann/Marcus – Elements In Candor (2015)


Michael Marcus - Bb & A clarinets
Theo Jörgensmann - Bb clarinet
Krzysztof Dys - piano
Andrzej Święs - double bass
Krzysztof Szmańda - drums

Elements In Candor


By Adam Baruch

This is an album by a Jazz quintet fronted by Polish pianist Krzysztof Dys, German clarinetist Theo Jörgensmann and American clarinetist Michael Marcus, with a Polish rhythm section: bassist Andrzej Święs and drummer Krzysztof Szmańda. Together they perform thirteen original pieces, four composed by Marcus, three by Jorgensmann and one by Dys and the remaining five were co-composed by various combinations of the quintet members.

Although based on some pre-composed phrases, the music is predominantly freely improvised and belongs to the radical Improvised Music idiom, which of curse is loved by a tiny group of enthusiasts but fails to reach a wider audience. Although the double clarinet front line has a wonderful potential of interplay between these two players, that potential is not realized herein and the music simply makes little if any aesthetic impact.

As already stated many times, Improvised Music might make sense when listened to live, due to the emotional involvement and interaction between the players and the listeners, but only very rarely it is able to carry over that interaction into a recorded document, like an album. This album is a typical case where the music simply fails to communicate and remains remote and cold, as if the musicians were playing to each other, leaving the rest of the world outside.

Even the fact that the clarinet is an instrument I truly love and the musicians involved have all made formidable recordings earlier on, this album simply does not cut it for me. Of course this is only my opinion and others might be able to enjoy this music. Dys, who is one of the most talented and important young Jazz musicians on the Polish scene plays very little on this album, which is another reason why this is a missed opportunity. If the whole album was anything like the last track, the story would have been completely different.

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