Tomasz Licak - clarinet, tenor saxophone
Marek Kądziela - electric guitar
Richard Andersson - bass guitar bass
Kasper Tom Christiansen - drums
The Zombie Chords
FOR TUNE 0099
By Adam Baruch
This is the second album by the Polish/Danish quartet K.R.A.N., which consists of Polish clarinetists/saxophonist Tomasz Licak and guitarist Marek Kądziela and Danish bassist Richard Andersson and drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen. They perform seven original compositions: three by Licak and two each by Andersson and Christiansen.
The music is typical young contemporary European Jazz, full of complex and passionate statements by the quartet members. The brief melodic intros give way to extended improvisations by Licak and Kądziela, admirably supported by the excellent Danish rhythm section, with both Andersson and Christiansen already recognized as some of the best new generation European players on the scene.
The quartet manages to balance skillfully between discipline and freedom, both individually and as an ensemble. Some of the soloing plunges deeply into Free Jazz, but the rhythm section keeps things right in check, successfully avoiding mayhem and cacophony. Licak sounds great both on clarinet and saxophone and Kądziela adds some electronic effects to his guitar vocabulary, enhancing the overall sound of the quartet. He also supports Licak very skillfully during his solo parts and plays beautiful unisono parts with him.
It is very encouraging seeing K.R.A.N. make such a progress since their debut album some years ago, recorded when they were still students. The experience they all gained during the years that passed since then is plainly evident. By now they are a mature and fully equipped unit, which is capable of delivering solid musical statements. Overall this is definitely a very fine effort, which brings forward some fresh ideas and a lot of interesting music, which speaks volumes about the future of European Jazz. Definitely worth investigating!