Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bauer/Bałdych/Duchnowski/Konrad – Trans-Fuzja (2016)

Bauer / Bałdych / Duchnowski / Konrad

Andrzej Bauer - cello
Adam Bałdych - violin
Cezary Duchnowski - piano, computer
Cezary Konrad - percussion



By Adam Baruch

This is a live recording by an ad-hoc quartet comprising of two Polish Jazz musicians: violinist Adam Bałdych and drummer Cezary Konrad, a Classical cellist/composer Andrzej Bauer and an electronic music composer/pianist Cezary Duchnowski. Together they perform seven original compositions, three of which are credited to all four participants, being basically spontaneous improvisations, and two each are by Bałdych and Duchnowski. The album was recorded four years before it was finally released.

The music is a variety of contemporary avant-garde Classical Music, with includes a large degree of improvisation, but also other forms of Modern Classical composition. Although conceptually the music does not belong to the Jazz idiom per se, Bałdych's violin phrasing and Konrad's rhythmic parts make the music to sound quite Jazzy, definitely more than probably initially intended, and simply transfers it safely into the Jazz environs.

Although the music is pretty minimalistic and introvert, it is definitely interesting not only to the avant-garde connoisseurs but to a much wider circle of potential listeners, especially during the parts which display a melodic content and rhythmic stability, and as such are relatively easy to follow. Not surprisingly, the two pieces composed by Bałdych are the most melodic and include, as usual in his works, huge doses of the typical Polish melancholy, which almost defines Polish Music as such.

The level of execution is of course brilliant, again with the focus in Bałdych's exquisite violin virtuosity, but also due to the overall superb contributions by all the musicians involved. Bauer, who is of course a renowned cellist in the Classical field, gets a relatively limited opportunity to showcase his talents, but there is still enough of his presence herein to amaze and astonish. Konrad, who is one of top Polish Jazz drummers, exposes his versatility and wonderful ability to listen to his partners while driving the ensemble forward. Duchnowski adds some brilliant electronic effects and plays great piano licks. Overall listening to this recording is an uplifting aesthetic experience.

Kudos, as usual, to For Tune Records for releasing this unusual and obviously non-commercial music, which otherwise might have disappeared in the vaults of music archives, which never see the light of day, especially in view of the fact that this music such a great example of cross genre pollination and Jazz-Classical Fusion at its best.

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