Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pimpono Ensemble – Hope Love Peace Faith (2016)

Pimpono Ensemble

Gustav Bjerre - trumpet
Tobias Pfeil - tenor saxophone
Jędrzej Łagodziński - baritone saxophone
Rasmus Kjærgård Lund - tuba
Emil Palme - guitar
Franciszek Pospieszalski - double bass
Lui Severin Falkentorp - double bass
Tomo Jacobson - double bass
Szymon Gąsiorek - drums
Maciej Kądziela - alto saxophone (1,4)
Rasmus Oppenhagen Krogh - guitar (1, 4, 7, 8)
Jonatan Uranes - bass, electronics (6)

Hope Love Peace Faith


By Adam Baruch

This is a brilliant debut album by an international Jazz ensemble from Copenhagen, called Pimpono Ensemble, led by young Polish drummer/composer Szymon Gąsiorek (a.k.a. Pimpon), who is also a member of the excellent Polish trio Love And Beauty Seekers. The other members of the ensemble, which is a nonet, includes also the two remaining members of Love And Beauty Seekers, saxophonist Jędrzej Łagodziński and bassist Franciszek Pospieszalski, as well as another Polish bassist Tomo Jacobson and Scandinavian musicians: trumpeter Gustav Bjerre, saxophonist Tobias Pfeil, tuba player Rasmus Kjaergard Lund, guitarist Emil Palme, and a third bassist Lui Severin Falkentorp. Three guest musicians appear on selected tracks. The ensemble performs eight original compositions, all by Gąsiorek.

The music is a fascinating amalgam of modern influences, wildly diverse and ranging from Minimal Music to Free Jazz/Improvised Music, combined coherently and skillfully by the composer, who also makes a brilliant use of the large ensemble, which is sadly very rarely done these days. It is truly amazing to find such a mature piece of music conceived and executed by such young musicians. The music changes moods and atmospheres from one piece to another and also within each piece and the listener is unable to predict what might happen next, which of course turns this into a fascinating listening experience.

This album demonstrates the power of expression and the sophistication of music written and executed by large ensembles, which enables a wide sonic spectrum, a stylistic diversity and of course the inclusion of many soloists playing often in parallel, improvising concurrently. There is of course place for beautiful melodic themes and harmonic arrangements, but these are not the core of the music, only a part of the palette the composer uses to build up his sonic world.

Although this might sound a bit of an overstatement, this album could serve as a text book example of what modern Jazz composition for large ensembles is all about. Therefore my wholehearted recommendation for musicians involved in this area is to get a copy of the album ASAP. Connoisseurs of modern Jazz, who are open-minded and love adventurous music, should find this album a stunning listening experience. Kudos!

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