Monday, December 19, 2011

Olo Walicki - Metalla Preciosa (OWP, 2004)

Olo Walicki - double bass

Leszek Możdżer - piano
Maurice de Martin - drums
The Gdansk Philharmonic Brass -
Janusz Szadowiak - trumpet
Arkadiusz Szafraniec - trumpet
Mirosław Merchel - French horn
Tadeusz Kassak - trombone

Metalla Preciosa (OWP, 2004)

Olo Walicki is type of musician who has its own way and is pursing it with all dedication and perseverance. That this path does not lead along main stream of music or even jazz, that it does not coincide with fame or money, it seems not to bother him a lot and he continues to issue one good album after another. Just a year ago I stumbled in my favorite music shop on his newest album "Trauma Theater" which happened to be one of few examples of music written for stage that stands successfully on its own. So I decided to go back and check what other recordings he has made in few recent years. Because as majority of Polish public I  associated Walicki with great events of the past, namely main the role he played in mid 90ties in Polish yass movement, but I was rather unaware of his latest works. And with my loss since this disc may be example of how original and appealing Walicki's music still is.

Title "Metalla Preciosa" summarizes well what is the concept of this album which can be described as standard jazz trio dancing on the background created by brass section. Trio Walicki/Możdżer/de Martin in itself could easily sustain the whole album because apart from Olo Walicki playing double bass we find here his long time companion from yass times Leszek Możdzer, deservedly enjoying superstar status on Polish music market and slowly making his way to European audience as well, and Maurice de Martin, German drummer, whose proficiency is beyond any question. It is important to note that brass section accompanying them (Janusz Szadowiak and Arkadiusz Szafraniec on trumpets, Mirosław Merchel on French horn, Tadeusz Kassak on trombone) consists of professional musicians from Gdańsk Philharmonic Orchestra AND that this quartet play is of the highest quality.

When a good concept meets with great musicianship the result could be only one: deeply satisfying experience. Resonating with energy of both jazz trio and classical brass section, this music shows how shall look like all meetings of these two great music languages. It is engaging DIALOGUE which although not always going on without some glitch, still leaves listener with sensation of being able to witness something fresh and unusual. I put this disc along best efforts in Polish jazz as far as third stream music is concerned in recent years. For more music of this kind and similar quality check Ecstasy Project or Atom String Quartet or  recent Piotr Damasiewicz 'Hadrony'.

Please, listen to 'Plumbum' from this album:

Author: Maciej Nowotny  

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