Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gorzycki/Pawlicki/Ziołek – Ensemble Tuning (2018)

Gorzycki/Pawlicki/Ziołek

Tomasz Pawlicki - flute, electronics
Jakub Ziołek - guitar, electronics
Rafał Gorzycki - drums, piano

Ensemble Tuning

AUDIO CAVE 2018/011



By Adam Baruch

This is an album by a Polish Jazz trio led by drummer/composer Rafal Gorzycki, who also plays piano, with flautist Tomasz Pawlicki and guitarist Jakub Ziołek, both of which employ also electronics. The album presents ten original compositions, eight of which are credited to all the trio members and two are by Gorzycki. This album is a second part of a triptych of trio recordings by Gorzycki, continuing the "Playing" album released a couple of years earlier. The music was excellently recorded at the RecPublica Studios and engineered by Łukasz Olejarczyk.

The music is an esoteric mixture of various elements, acoustic and electronic, combining modern Classical Music vistas with improvisation and Ambient music and creating a magical impressionist aura of anticipation and mysticism. There are also elements of Serialism and Minimalism, all wonderfully weaved into a coherent but hard to pinpoint continuity, which tends to flow as if propelled by its own will. This music is more about form and sound than about melody or harmony, very abstract and almost involuntarily creating images of impressionist paintings before the listener's eyes.

Pawlicki stands in the very epicenter of this music, since his magic flute produces most of the directly audible sound, creating short melodic threads and swirls, all of which are simply irresistibly beautiful. In complete contrast the guitar played by Ziołek sounds nothing like a guitar, producing a plethora of sound layers and ambient noises in the background, which is the foundation upon which the flute parts float, similar to a wind which carries the golden autumn leaves. Gorzycki also hardly ever plays any straightforward rhythms and his pulses are more pointers than actual rhythmic patterns. His piano parts are also quite atypical and serve as accents rather than harmonies.

There is no doubt that this album constitutes a new stage in the long and prolific career of Gorzycki, taking him into a new realm unlike anything else he attempted earlier, although definitely being a logical extension of his earlier works. This music is more complex and more abstract than his earlier efforts but also much more concentrated and expressive. It is definitely much closer to cotemporary Classical Chamber Music than to Jazz, and will probably be received as such by the listeners. Absurdly perhaps, it is also more accessible and universal than many of his earlier efforts.

Overall this is a stunning piece of music, which offers novel approach to music making, unusual usage of the instruments and explores unchartered territory as far as improvisation and composition are intertwined and is additionally spiced with the sensational flute playing, altogether offering a sensational musical experience. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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