Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hunger Pangs - II (2020)

Hunger Pangs

Marek Kądziela - guitar, electronics, effects
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, microKORG
Kasper Tom Christiansen - drums


AUDIO CAVE 2020/004

By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the Hunger Pangs trio, which comprises of Polish guitarist Marek Kądziela, Polish (resident in Denmark) trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski and Danish drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen. The album presents six original compositions, three by Kądziela, two by Christiansen and one by Dąbrowski. For reasons unknown to me, the album recorded four years earlier, is being released only now.

The music continues the direction set by the trio's debut, which mixes composed themes with free (collective) improvisation on one hand and Rock versus Free Jazz interactions on the other. The music is often rather minimalist, with three distinct instrumental voices merged together into one fabric. The individual parts are perfectly audible at all times and the amalgam happens more in the listener's brain than actually within the music.

All three musicians are strong individual voices, each of them with impressive recorded legacy under the belt in spite of their relative young age. Their work together is a typical example of being more than just a sum of their individual contributions, and certainly manages to be a fascinating listening experience throughout. As a big fan Dąbrowski, his contributions usually draw my attention immediately and as usual he does not disappoint here. His virtuosic trumpet parts are simply outstanding; both technically and emotionally, and firmly assert his position as one of the leading European Jazz trumpeters of the last decade.

It took me a while to appreciate the talents of Kądziela, but hearing him perform live several times in the last years broke the ice and convinced me as to his great talent as well. He is a very unique and forward thinking player and composer, firmly stuck in the proud legacy of the Rock idiom, but always taking his music beyond the ordinary. He is certainly one of the most interesting guitar players in the Polish scene at the moment.

Christiansen has also an impressive recorded legacy, which proves his outstanding position as a drummer, bandleader and for me especially as a composer. All his albums are superb examples of contemporary European Jazz and his contributions here are all in par with his usual excellence. Overall this album is every bit as good as the debut and connoisseurs of contemporary Improvised Music/Avant-Garde Jazz should be perfectly happy with every note this album has to offer.

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