Monday, December 10, 2018

Marian Pawlik Quartet – Old Bass Line (2018)

Marian Pawlik Quartet

Kuba Płużek - piano, fender rhodes
Bartłomiej Noszka - tenor saxophone
Marian Pawlik - double bass
Michał Heller - drums

Old Bass Line


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader by veteran Polish bassist/composer Marian Pawlik, renowned as a member of the legendary Polish Jazz-Rock ensemble Dżamble, which recorded just one cult album "Wołanie O Słońce Nad Światem". This album, recorded in a quartet setting, finds Pawlik in the company of the young generation Polish Jazz players: pianist Kuba Płużek, saxophonist Bartłomiej Noszka and drummer Michał Heller.

The album presents nine tracks, five of which are originals: two by Pawlik and three by Płużek and four are by celebrated Jazz bassists: two by Paul Chambers and one each by Ron Carter and Oscar Pettiford. The music was excellently recorded and the up-front bass presence is a delight to the many enthusiast of the instrument.

As the album's title suggests, it is primarily a tribute to the double bass, its heroes and history, and as a result the music is mostly within the boundaries of American Bebop tradition, albeit the majority of it was composed by the Polish members of the quartet. There is no doubt that the three compositions by Płużek are the most interesting musical endeavors, even if they are still closely related to the Bebop spirit, as they offer typical twists and turns Płużek often employs in his compositions, which make the cognoscenti smile.

The music is executed perfectly, with a lot of soloing space offered to the leader, who obviously displays first-class technique and feel for the music. Noszka and Płużek solo extensively as well, always according to what is expected in this kind of music. Heller keeps the time like clockwork and stays mostly in the shadows. Personally I find this kind of music uninteresting, but listeners who still listen to Bebop should be able to enjoy this music and since this is an opportunity to listen to a legendary musician still in great form, it is a source of joy.

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