Friday, November 11, 2016

Question Mark – Laboratory (2010)

Question Mark

Bogusław Raatz - guitars, keyboard
Jacek Dołęga - bass guitar
Marek Matuszewski - drums
Robert Bielak - violin, guitar
Andrzej Przybielski - trumpet, cornet

Laboratory


QM 002

By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Progressive Rock/Jazz-Rock Fusion trio Question Mark, led by guitarist Bogusław Raatz and including also bassist Jacek Dołęga and drummer Marek Matuszewski. Violinist/guitarist Robert Bielak guests on most of the tracks and the legendary trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski guests on one track. The album presents twelve original instrumental compositions by the trio members, three of which are three-part mini suites.

The music introduces some basic themes, which are then used as basis for extended instrumental improvisations, mostly by guitar and violin. The violin improvisations are more Jazz/Fusion oriented and the guitar improvisations are more Prog oriented, so the album is overall quite diverse and multifaceted. The rhythm section is very Rock oriented, which sets the rhythmic patters somewhat towards Heavy Rock, but not overwhelmingly so, which still leaves the instrumental improvisation to be the center of this music.

The track with Przybielski is of course outstanding and one can only regret that the entire album was not recorder with him, which would have turned it into a remarkable album. But at least we can hear the amazing trumpet work on one track, which of course is good enough reason to have this album. Przybielski had the chameleonic ability to feel completely at ease in any musical environment, from extreme avant-garde to commercial Pop, and Fusion/Rock suited him as well as anything else, which is evident here.

The violin work is also quite impressive and people interested in Fusion violin sound should find this album fascinating as well. This album is pretty obscure even on the Polish scene, so perhaps people reading these lines will make an effort to look it up now, as it is definitely worth investigating!

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