Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tomasz Dąbrowski/Jacek Mazurkiewicz - Basement Music (2018)

Tomasz Dąbrowski/Jacek Mazurkiewicz

Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, mutes
Jacek Mazurkiewicz - contrabass, electronics

Basement Music


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish Improvised Music duo comprising of trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski and bassist Jacek Mazurkiewicz. The album presents seven compositions, all co-credited to both participants.

Both Dąbrowski and Mazurkiewicz are very prolific musicians who released quite a few albums on various labels, and it is a bit difficult to follow their rich output, especially in view of the incredible number of albums released on the Polish scene year after year. Mazurkiewicz released a couple of excellent albums with another young Polish trumpeter Wojciech Jachna, so playing with a trumpet is certainly not unfamiliar to him. Dąbrowski, who recorded dozens of albums in many different musical environments, proved that he can handle virtually anything. Therefore it is not surprising that their collaboration on this album works smoothly and effectively.

As with all Improvised Music the most important test is if the music makes sense in recorded form. Improvised Music almost always makes some kind of sense live, as it is able to express the mutual relationship between the musicians and the listeners in the audience, but when captured on record it has to make sense to a random listener, who does not hear the musicians playing live and the sound captured on the album is his only source of cerebral information.

Thanks to the incredible versatility of Dąbrowski, who can create a myriad of sounds and moods on his trumpet, and the clever usage of electronics Mazurkiewicz employs in addition to his imaginative bass playing, this music works in its stand-alone recorded version and constitutes an interesting aesthetic experience to the listener, presenting a very varied and fascinating musical adventure.

Of course a priori this music appeals to a tiny minority within the minority of Jazz listeners, who are open minded enough to even try and listen to Improvised Music to start with. One has to admire the musicians who consistently tread on this treacherous path against all odds, disregarding popular trends and often facing open animosity not only from ignorant listeners, but even from other musicians. Admittedly not for everybody, this album offers some fascinating Improvised Music, which is as good as Improvised Music gets. Certainly worth investigating!

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