Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ignacy Wiśniewski Trio – Jazz Shirim (2016)

Ignacy Wiśniewski Trio

Ignacy Wiśniewski - piano
Adam Żuchowski - bass
Paweł Osicki - drums

Jazz Shirim


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader by young Polish Jazz pianist/composer Ignacy Wiśniewski, recorded in a trio format with bassist Adam Żuchowski and drummer Paweł Osicki. The album presents seven original compositions, all by Wiśniewski, that were originally created for a theatre production about the Jewish Community in Gdansk before and during the WWII. The Hebrew word "shirim" means songs.

The music is an ambitious amalgam of melodic modern mainstream and free form improvisation. The pieces start with a clearly stated melody, followed by much less restrained improvisations, which are also very diverse rhythmically. The compositions are therefore just frameworks that are filled up by the improvised parts. This is definitely a very unusual and bold musical statement, which is also quite listenable in spite of its complexity and sincerity.

The trio performs as a very tight unit, responding attentively to each other and complementing each other's statements. Although there is a lot of space and freedom in this music, the trio members are closely coupled at all times, which produces a wonderful effect of group cohesiveness. Sometimes music created for theatre or cinema has no independent existence, but this music definitely holds the floor on its own, being completely relevant in its minimal form, which of course speaks greatly of its qualities. It does not make any artistic compromises or attempts to be more acceptable and it manages to fascinate and create a lot of tension for the attentive listener, which happens relatively rarely.

Overall this is a very impressive debut, and although the music was recorded a while ago, it's good to see it finally released, as it certainly deserves to be heard. Serious Jazz connoisseurs should enjoy this music in full. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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