Saturday, December 15, 2018

Karolina Pernal Quintet – Claridad (2018)

Karolina Pernal

Karolina Pernal - saxophone
Achille Succi - saxophone / clarinet
Kuba Płużek - piano
Jakub Olejnik - bass
Wojciech Buliński - drums

Claridad

SJ 033
By Adam Baruch


This is the debut album by Polish Jazz saxophonist / composer Karolina Pernal recorded in a quintet setting with Italian saxophonist / clarinetist Achille Succi and Polish pianist Kuba Pluzek, bassist Jakub Olejnik and drummer Wojciech Bulinski. The album presents six tracks, five of which are original compositions: three by Karolina Pernal and two by her spouse trombonist Bartosz Pernal and one is a Sam Rivers composition arranged by Bartosz Pernal. The album was recorded at the Monochrom Studio and engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki with the usual excellent sound quality.

The music is all kept within the melodic mainstream Jazz idiom, with solid original compositions by the Pernals, which are mostly ballads with typical Polish melancholic streak. It is easy on the ear but eventually rather uneventful, although professionally performed by the quintet members with Pluzek being the most interesting soloist by far. Having said that, this album offers a pleasant listening experience to mainstream Jazz connoisseurs and can be enjoyed in full, like many similar other albums in that vein.

Karolina Pernal is one of relatively few female Polish Jazz instrumentalists, and as such she deserves support and encouragement to achieve an equal footing with her many male cohorts. This debut offering is surely just a first step on the way to a hopefully wonderful musical career.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Anna Maria Jopek & Branford Marsalis – Ulotne (2018)

Anna Maria Jopek & Branford Marsalis

Anna Maria Jopek - vocals
Branford Marsalis - saxophone
Krzysztof Herdzin - piano
Marcin Wasilewski - piano
Robert Kubiszyn - bass
Piotr Nazaruk - flute, clarinet, etc.
Atom String Quartet


Ulotne

AMJ 001

By Adam Baruch


Every new release by the Polish Diva Anna Maria Jopek is a celebration of Culture and a major musical event on an international scale, especially so when it involves a revered Jazz superstar like saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Jopek, famous for her consistent independent Artistic vision, managed to create her own universe, where she does not need to compare or compete with the rest of the world, which enables her complete freedom of expression and self-determination, which only very few Artists worldwide were able to achieve over time.

Recording an album with Marsalis was a dream, which Jopek held on to since the time she heard him playing with Sting, which of course was a huge influence on every true music lover at the time. The incredible chemistry that Sting and Marsalis demonstrated was an extremely tall order to follow, but Jopek never eschewed a challenge and this album proves that the realization of that dream was indeed worthwhile waiting for.

The album was recorded during two separate recording sessions, twenty one months apart, which considering the busy schedule that Jopek and Marsalis are both entangled in, is not as surprising as it might sound. The somewhat esoteric group of musicians includes percussionist Mino Cinelu, pianists Krzysztof Herdzin (who was also in charge of arrangements and conducting) and Marcin Wasilewski, multi-instrumentalist Piotr Nazaruk, bassist Robert Kubiszyn and Atom String Quartet (violinists Mateusz Smoczynski and Dawid Lubowicz, violist Michal Zaborski and cellist Krzysztof Lenczowski). Polish Folklore Guru Maria Pomianowska guests on one track. The album presents ten tracks on the "formal" first CD and four additional tracks (one of which is an alternate version of a track on the album) on the "bonus" second CD. The songs are mostly originals, written by Jopek or co-written with her spouse Marcin Kydrynski, one song is by Herdzin, one by Tomasz Stanko (see below), one by Andrzej Zielinski (Skaldowie) and one by Harry Kandel with the rest being originally traditional Polish Folklore songs.

Musically the album marks a return to Jopek's established modus operandi, which combines Polish Folklore and original songwriting, spiced with Jazzy arrangements and of course dominated by her highly original expressionism. The music is deeply soaked in Polish lyricism and melancholy and her decision to sing in the Polish language emphasizes these elements even further. Marsalis plunges into this Slavic environment with vigor and determination, as if Eastern European sensitivities were his second nature, which is quite remarkable. It proves not only his openness and ability to embrace diverse Cultures, but also his incredible musicality, which enables him to feel completely at home in this Slavic musical setting. It also proves, perhaps more importantly, that music is universal, as is human soul, and ethnic boundaries can be crossed and amalgamated on the collective plane.

Jopek, Marsalis and all the musicians involved in the recording of this album are of course veteran professionals in addition to their individual Artistic abilities, which results in the music being perfectly and incredibly sensitively executed. This music requires total dedication and every single note played by every musician at every given moment must be precisely articulated to achieve the desired effect. Luckily this team rises to the challenge admirably. The delicate and wonderfully written string arrangements performed by the Atoms add a superbly "angelic" aura to the overall sound and the folkloristic elements by Nazaruk spice the proceedings splendidly. Marsalis plays a series of breathtaking solos throughout the album, exactly as expected of course and Jopek, as always, manages to create goose bumps all over the listener's body regardless if she sings lyrics or awe-inspiring vocalese.

When selecting the material for this album, Jopek requested the permission of Tomasz Stanko to use his beautiful ballad "A Farewell To Maria", originally used in the soundtrack of a movie of the same name, as she was sure Marsalis would be able to embrace the lyricism of this incredible melody and create a marvelous solo while performing it. She was right of course and this track is definitely one of the highlights of this album, and at the same time it constitutes a mournful tribute to Stanko, who passed away before the album was released.

Another interesting piece is the excellent arrangement of the classic Harry Kandel (born in Lwow) Klezmer tune "A Night In The Garden Of Eden", which features Jopek's hair-raising vocalese. Of course Klezmer music has always been an integral part of the Polish Folklore tapestry, in which the Jewish contribution was invaluable.

Overall this album is a Masterpiece from start to finish, which is no news to the numerous Jopek's fans. There is not one moment on this album, which is not inspirational and eloquent, heartwarming and heartfelt. Both deeply Polish and at the same time universally appealing this music knows no stylistic or Cultural boundaries. It is beautiful and sensitive and at the same time deeply emotional, soul-searching and introspective. In short, this album delivers everything one expects to hear when Great Artists are involved. Thank you, as always, my Dear!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Artur Majewski/Patryk Zakrocki - Czas Panowania Traw

Artur Majewski/Patryk Zakrocki

Artur Majewski - cornet, delay
Patryk Zakrocki - viola, mbira, ring modulator

Czas Panowania Traw

Fundacja Kaisera Söze 2018




By Maciej Krawiec

Przysłuchując się albumowi Artura Majewskiego i Patryka Zakrockiego "Czas Panowania Traw", sięgnąłem po towarzyszący temu wydawnictwu odautorski komentarz. Znalazły się w nim między innymi takie zdania: "[Muzyka] zdaje się oddychać, jest pozbawiona formy, po prostu trwa, jak szum lasu, do którego się wchodzi czy szmer strumienia, który w tym lesie płynie". To w mgnieniu oka przypomniało mi niezwykły stan, w jakim znalazłem się przed kilkoma miesiącami podczas letnich wakacji. Leżałem wówczas właśnie w środku lasu, słońce hojnie ogrzewało moje ciało. Miałem zamknięte oczy, by świadomie jak najszerzej otworzyć... uszy i jak najpełniej oddać się pasjonującym dźwiękom, intensywnie mnie otaczającym. Zastanawiałem się wówczas, jaką muzykę przyrównać do takiej improwizacji lasu. Może Meredith Monk? Może Arild Andersen? Na pewno – Majewski i Zakrocki.

Bardzo mądrze połączyli oni zajmujące muzykowanie z wykorzystaniem kornetu, altówki, mbiry oraz elektroniki z obecnym bez nachalności przyrodniczym tematem. Duet nie szuka jednak dźwiękonaśladownictwa; artystom chodzi raczej o kolektywne, subiektywne i spontaniczne odbicie pewnej organicznej brzmieniowej aury, którą natura może w sobie zawierać. Majewski i Zakrocki zapraszają do swoistego laboratorium dźwięków, gdzie – poza wyrazistą grą instrumentów – tworzą się zamglone tła, ledwie zarysowane horyzonty, barwne plamy, echa tego, co już niewidoczne. Wyobraźnia pracuje: słychać mikrokosmos ściółki leśnej, naprzykrzające się owady, klangor żurawi, szum smukłych sosen na wietrze nad schowanym pośród borów jeziorem...

Jednocześnie "Czas Panowania Traw" to po prostu bogata i sugestywna muzyka improwizowana. Budzi powyższe skojarzenia bez dosłowności, eksponuje szereg motywów i epizodów, prezentuje zarówno indywidualizm, jak i dialog. Artyści badają dźwięki, odnajdują frazy o rozmaitym natężeniu, dzielą się emocjami. Niepokój, rezygnacja, groza, melancholia, namiastka ładu, niepewna uroda – ja wyczytuję między innymi takie treści w muzyce duetu, ale wiem, że każdy, kto w skupieniu wysłucha tego albumu, odnajdzie tam odmienne myśli i emocje. I po to właśnie – by pozwolić, by w naszym wnętrzu zapanował tytułowy, intymnie przeżywany Czas Traw – warto sięgnąć po płytę Majewskiego i Zakrockiego.

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



PRIVATE EDITION

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.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Piotr Schmidt Quartet feat. Wojciech Niedziela – Tribute To Tomasz Stańko (2018)

Piotr Schmidt Quartet feat. Wojciech Niedziela

Piotr Schmidt - trumpet
Wojciech Niedziela - piano
Maciej Garbowski - double bass
Krzysztog Gradziuk - drums

Tribute To Tomasz Stańko

SJ 038


By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Jazz trumpeter / composer / bandleader / entrepreneur Piotr Schmidt, recorded in a quartet setting with pianist Wojciech Niedziela, bassist Maciej Garbowski and drummer Krzysztof Gradziuk. The album presents twelve compositions, eight of which are credited to all four members of the quartet, two were composed by Schmidt and one each were composed by Krzysztof Komeda and Bartek Pieszka.

The death of the Polish / European Jazz icon, trumpeter / composer / bandleader Tomasz Stańko, in June of 2018, marked an end of a chapter, or rather an end of an era in European Jazz. Although in recent years many of the most prominent representatives of post WWII European Jazz sadly departed, Stanko was in many respects more than most an epitome of modern European Jazz and his life and career exemplified the most important characteristics of the idiom. His relentless search of uncharted territory, complete disregard of fads and fashions, his open-mindedness and chameleonic, often extremely dramatic changes in his stylistic approach to Jazz and above all his aesthetics, with reminded uncompromising till the very end, were all also often characteristic of many other leading European Jazz Masters, who managed to create an entirely new form of the Jazz essence, completely free of the limitations and shackles enslaving the genre in the past.

Tributes are a tricky business, especially so in the case of iconic figures, which were active for decades and managed to produce not only a rich legacy of recorded music, but more importantly were constantly groundbreaking and innovative. How can a "tribute" album express a respectful and artistically coherent picture of an icon? It takes a lot of courage and determination to attempt a tribute recording, which will be meaningful and offer some intrinsic value beyond being just a reflection of the light of a Giant, with the possibility of failure always lurking in the background.

Considering the fact that Stanko's legacy was to a large extent involved with Avant-garde, Improvised Music and Free Jazz, whereas Schmidt consistently dedicates his career to more mainstream manifestations of the Jazz idiom, always emphasizing melody, harmony, ambience and lyricism, the first reaction to the idea of Schmidt recording a Stańko tribute might be that of disbelief and surprise. But Schmidt already proved to be a mastermind of invention in the past and this time he has surely outdone himself, by finding an ingredient of Stańko's legacy that fits like a glove to his own modus operandi. As a result Schmidt, rather than creating a "general" tribute to Stańko, decided to put the spotlight on the gentler side of the Stańko's heritage – Stańko the charmer, the balladeer, the weaver of heartbreakingly beautiful melodies, in short Stańko the Gentle Giant.

The resulting concept presents an album full of beautiful, melodic, lyrical Jazz, which strongly resembles that gentle side of Stanko that we all love, but at the same time is completely original as far as the music itself is concerned. The atmosphere and ambience of the album are wonderfully coherent and the music flows serenely penetrating directly the very soul of the listener. The decision of not using and specific tunes composed by Stańko, but creating instead music that "might have been composed" by him is of course brilliant in every respect.

The quartet performing the music is ideal for the task. Garbowski and Gradziuk played with Stańko in the recent years and know his music intimately, and their position as one of the leading Polish Jazz rhythm sections is fully justified. They add the ingredients of space and freedom to the quartet's playing, which is exactly what this music needs to make it completely unwavering and related to Stańko's musical spirit. Niedziela is beautifully romantic and expressive, with each and every note he plays being exactly what is needed to make the overall sound perfect. Schmidt plays delightfully as well, rather sparingly and delicately, again exactly right for what this music needs. At times, with the eyes closed, his trumpet sounds exactly like Stanko's, but obviously Schmidt is not trying to imitate Stańko's playing but, as the entire album does, reproduce the very Stańkoish ambience and spirituality.

Overall this is a wonderfully executed and cleverly planned piece of music, which achieves the ambitious goal assigned to it in full. It is also a textbook example of what "tribute" albums should sound like, as well as a wonderful example of a bridge over a chasm of the infamous generation gap, which enables a smooth transition of the heritage from one generation to another. Polish Jazz at its best!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Fiil Free – Everything Is A Translation (2016)

Fiil Free

Lars Fiil - piano
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet
Henrik Pultz Melbye - tenor saxophone, clarinet
Henrik Olsson - guitar
Martin Fabricius - vibraphone
Casper Nyvang Rask - double bass
Bjørn Heebøll - drums


Everything Is A Translation

FILL FREE 0916

By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by Danish Jazz pianist/composer Lars Fiil, this time recorded with an international septet called Fiil Free, which features also Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski, Swedish guitarist Henrik Olsson and four Danish musicians: saxophonist Henrik Pultz Melbye, vibraphonist Martin Fabricius, bassist Casper Nyvang Rask and drummer Bjorn Heeboll. Together they perform five original compositions, all by Fiil.

The music is a typical European Free Jazz/Improvised Music endeavor, which in spite of its many degrees of freedom is wonderfully well composed, organized, structured and played, presenting a challenging yet coherent listening experience. The individual compositions develop slowly, starting with single notes or chords, gradually increasing in intensity and complexity, taking the listener on a ride along the process of its development.

All the participants contribute their personal input, playing solo passages, which often are very different from typical Jazz solos, but play in fact a similar role. These young musicians are amongst the finest European improvisers and can be heard on many other recordings. This particular setting is actually very minimalistic and there is little place to show the individual skills in a very expressive way, but this minimalism pushes the players to their limits and makes them to reinvent their performing techniques. Dąbrowski, as usual, plays some stunning passages, proving again that his diversity and talent know no borders, but as already said earlier, this album is not about individual statements, but deals with collective improvisation and cooperative performance.

One of the pieces starts off with the septet playing a swinging Bebop tune, which has a wonderful small Big Band feel about it, but of course it soon disintegrates into Free Form collective improvisation, which is sort of decomposing the initial structured statement, only to return to it at the very end. There are many such wonderful surprises as the music progresses and when it finally ends, one is definitely left with a wish for more.

Overall this album is another proof that the young European Improvising scene is alive and kicking like never before, creating a melting pot of influences between Scandinavian, East and West European cultures, forging a strong Jazz Culture, which hopefully will last for a long time and keep developing in the process. Not to be missed by any Free Jazz fans anywhere in the world!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Jorgos Skolias/Piotr Rachoń – Free (2018)

Jorgos Skolias/Piotr Rachoń

Jorgos Skolias - vocals, electronics
Piotr Rachoń - piano

Free

V 014




By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish duo comprising of vocalist Jorgos Skolias and pianist Piotr Rachoń. The album presents ten original compositions, spontaneously created during the recording session and credited to both participants, with the "lyrics" credited to Skolias. The album was recorded at the Monochrom Studio and engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki, with the expected superb sound quality.

From the very onset of the music it becomes immediately obvious that this album is unlike anything one might have come across before. As the album's title suggests, this music is completely free from any preconceptions and genre limitations. Skolias and Rachoń let themselves to be led by their respective instincts and the telepathic rapport they manage to establish during the session's duration. They are clearly listening to each other very carefully, and yet they take turns in pushing the music from one plane to another, moving forward and backwards and sideways constantly.

Despite the seemingly directionless aura, the music is perfectly coherent and even "organized" and "melodic" most of the time, certainly in the abstract gist of these idioms. With Skolias using almost completely unconventional vocal techniques, Rachoń sticks to almost conventional chords and scales, keeping the overall result "in check", which helps to avoid havoc and confusion. Both players are of course equally inventive at all times.

Skolias uses his voice in a multilayered and multidirectional manner, utilizing single words and phrases, Multilanguage and gibberish, natural and distorted vocals and harmonized vocal effects, screams and whispers, in short an amazing array of human-produced natural and unnatural effects, which only he is capable of creating. Rachoń skillfully and incredibly sensibly manages to insert his piano sounds to harmonize perfectly with the barrage of sounds produced by Skolias, creating a symbiotic whole.

In fact describing this music in words is an a priori futile effort, and listening to it is the only proper way to treat it. Having said that, one must admit that this music is so extraordinary and Avant-garde that it can be considered groundbreaking, certainly as far as Improvised Vocal Music is concerned. The Giant Step taken by Skolias from his Rock, Blues and Jazz roots towards this revolutionary modus operandi is astonishing in its boldness and ingenuity. Although I have always considered Skolias as a superbly talented and multifaceted artist, this time he truly managed to knock my socks off! Hats off to you my Friend!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Gloria Campaner/Leszek Możdżer - Live At Enter (2018)

Gloria Campaner/Leszek Możdżer

Gloria Campaner - piano, synthesizer, stones
Leszek Możdżer - piano, synthesizer, celeste
Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala - percussion
Miłosz Pękala - percussion



Live At Enter

OUTSIDE MUSIC CD 009

By Krzysztof Komorek

Bywalcy koncertów Leszka Możdżera otrzymali właśnie niespodziewany i interesujący podarek w postaci płyty z rejestracją koncertu pianisty z Glorią Campaner, zarejestrowanego podczas Enter Enea Festival w Poznaniu w roku 2017. Możdżer dość aktywnie angażuje się w zróżnicowane projekty, cały czas pamiętając, by była to propozycja atrakcyjna dla słuchaczy. Niektórzy czynią z owej atrakcyjności zarzut, jednak większość z niemalejącą przyjemnością słucha kolejnych nagrań.

Koncert z Glorią Campaner jest materiałem wręcz idealnym na przebojową jazzową płytę. Włoska artystka skupia się głównie na muzyce klasycznej, jednak chętnie współpracuje z jazzmanami czy nawet DJ-ami. Stąd może dość oryginalny układ programu, koncentrujący się na nie jazzowych kompozytorach. Artyści mogli pójść po linii najmniejszego oporu, wykorzystując wyłącznie chwytliwe i sprawdzone w bojach utwory Możdżera. Wybrali jednak ambitniejsze rozwiązanie, sięgając między innymi po Debussy’ego, Prokofieva, Albéniza i Lutosławskiego.

Album rozpoczyna "She Said She Was A Painter" znany z ostatniej płyty tria Możdżer/Danielsson Fresco. Potem na siedem minut słuchacz zanurza się w delikatną, piękną interpretację "Clair De Lune". Bardzo oryginalnie i ciekawie wypada fortepianowy duet w "Libertango" Piazzolli, po którym artyści zabierają nas w podróż nieco bardziej abstrakcyjną. W "Lady Stoned" pojawiają się bowiem instrumenty elektroniczne oraz… śpiewające kamienie (przygotowane przez Pinuccio Sciola), z których dźwięki wydobywała Gloria Campaner. Finałowe "Paganini Variations", jak przystało na podsumowanie całości, zabrzmiały dynamicznie, miejscami z lekką nutką szaleństwa, acz niewątpliwie porywająco. Na scenie do pianistów dołączyła wówczas dwójka perkusjonalistów – Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala i Miłosz Pękala.

"Live At Enter" to godzina czystej radości obcowania ze świetnie wykonaną muzyką. Stanie się zapewne miłą pamiątką dla tych, którzy mieli przyjemność posłuchać duetu na żywo, ale także ostatnią deską ratunku i pocieszeniem dla osób, które na koncert nie dotarły (mnie się nie udało) i mocno tego żałują (ja osobiście żałuję bardzo).

Friday, November 30, 2018

Krzysztof Herdzin – Look Inward (2017)

Krzysztof Herdzin

Krzysztof Herdzin - piano

Look Inward

UNIVERSAL 602557947120






By Adam Baruch

This is a solo piano album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer/arranger Krzysztof Herdzin, who is a highly respected musician on the local scene, known for his professionalism and perfectionism. The album, which is Herdzin's first solo piano venture, presents nine improvised pieces, which as the album's title and the liner notes describe, are highly personal reflections of his musical life's experiences, impulsively created on the spur of the moment.

In the last few years of his career Herdzin gradually moved away from Jazz towards other musical areas, mostly contemporary Classical Music and stage music. This album follows the same pattern, perhaps subconsciously, but it has very little to do with Jazz per se, and is much closer to Classical forms of expression. Although the melodic content is very fragmented, the overall mood is mostly lyrical and romantic, often quite minimalist. Herdzin uses mostly single notes and chords are being used sparingly, which creates tension and anticipation, but on the other hand makes the music somewhat difficult to follow after a while.

Overall this is an interesting experiment, which offers a unique glimpse of Herdzin's complex musical personality. His customary listeners might find this music a tad too difficult to swallow, surely in the initial attempt, but this album grows on the listener in time. Herdzin is unquestionably a highly talented composer and performer, but he is often more appreciated by his peers than by the general public. It is good to see him let go of his disciplined approach and indulge in improvisation, even if the improvisation is somewhat imprisoned by his subliminal sense of order. I hope this album gets the exposure it deserves, and music connoisseurs will discover another facet of Herdzin's music. Recommended!

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!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...