Saturday, October 13, 2018

P.E. Quartet – Cokolwiek (2018)

P.E. Quartet

Jerzy Mączyński - tenor saxophone
Szymon Wójcik - guitar
Rafał Różalski - double bass
Bartosz Szablowski - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz ensemble called P.E. Quartet, which comprises of saxophonist Jerzy Mączyński, guitarist Szymon Wójcik, bassist Rafał Różalski and drummer Bartosz Szablowski. The album presents eight original compositions, all co-credited to the four members of the quartet. The music was wonderfully recorded at the Monochrom Studio with Ignacy Gruszecki in charge of the sound.

The music is an interesting mixture of pre-composed themes and improvised pieces, all very open and unrestrained, which allow individual members of the quartet to express their statements as well as involve in collective improvisation. The ingenuousness and obvious openness of these young musicians is truly astounding, as such playing usually requires years of experience. By listening blindly to this music no one would be able to guess the young age of these musicians.

The music is also quite complex and sophisticated, and yet flows elegantly and smoothly without awaking antagonism or hardship in the listener. Organized chaos or restrained freedom come to mind, but the only way to comprehend this music is of course to listen to it. At some moments the music is also more relaxed and fluid, but usually that is just a starting point of another intensive improvisation part.

The individual statements are all excellent, and diametrically different. Personally my "hero" on this album is Różalski, who builds wonderful bass intros, full of tension and anticipation. But the guitar work by Wójcik is also superb, regardless if it is beautifully melodic or completely distorted. But Mączyński and Szablowski contribute equally well and this music is first and foremost an ensemble statement, which works splendidly.

Overall this is a splendid debut effort, which shows tons of potential and again confirms the incredible strength of the young Polish Jazz scene, which never ceases to amaze. It is frightening to think what these guys will come up with next! Not to be missed!

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