Monday, June 17, 2019

Doors Not Shut – Luty (2018)

Doors Not Shut

Wacław Zimpel - alto clarinet
Krzysztof Dys - piano
Ksawery Wójciński - double bass
Andrzej Święs - double bass
Krzysztof Szmańda - drums
Philip South - percussion

Luty



AUDIO CAVE 2018/013

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the sextet Doors Not Shut, which comprises of five veteran Polish Jazz musicians: clarinetist Wacław Zimpel, pianist Krzysztof Dys, bassists Andrzej Święs and Ksawery Wójciński and drummer Krzysztof Szmańda. They are joined by Australian percussionist Philip South. The album presents ten original compositions by the sextet members, mostly co-composed by several of the musicians.

The concept of the sextet is pretty loosely conceived, since only Szmańda and South play on all the ten tracks, Swies plays on nine tracks, Dys plays on just three tracks and finally Zimpel and Wójciński play on five tracks. As a result the entire sextet does not play together on any of the tracks.

The music is an interesting amalgam of Ambient Music and Free Jazz, with strong World Music influences, especially on the rhythmic plane. The overall sound and approach are quite minimalist and the music mostly flows slowly, rarely displaying any strictly melodic contents. The bass pulsations (either electric or acoustic) and the ethnic/polyrhythmic drumming are the constant elements of the music, with the piano and clarinet being the only melodic anchors.

The entire concept definitely works well, displaying a lot of originality and fascination with rhythm, being quite unique in that area. The drummers get most of the exposure, followed by the bassists, with Dys and Zimpel adding spice and color to the proceedings, but not dominating the concept. The three quartet tracks with Dys are closest to Jazz, while the five tracks with Zimpel are Ambient Improvised Music which listeners familiar with other recordings by Zimpel should find quite recognizable. The remaining two tracks featuring only drums and percussion (with some vocal and spoken word ornamentation) are perhaps the roots of the music.

Overall this is a bold and highly innovative concept album, which offers originality and excellent musicianship, as well as intellectual challenge, which is often missing from less ambitious Jazz oriented recordings. This album is recommended for the more adventurous and open-minded listeners, who are ready to embrace new concepts. Although Zimpel plays only on half of the tracks, this album presents some of this most moving work, which is an absolute must to his followers. Highly recommended!

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