Thursday, September 11, 2014

Garbowski-Cruz Quartet – Rashomon Effect (2014)

Garbowski-Cruz Quartet

Ivann Cruz - guitar
Kari Heinila - tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute
Maciej Garbowski - double bass
Peter Orins - drums

Rashomon Effect

IMP 002

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the international Jazz quartet co-led by Polish bassist/composer Maciej Garbowski and French guitarist/composer Ivann Cruz and also including Finnish reedman Kari Heinila and French drummer Peter Orins. The album presents ten original compositions, four each composed by Garbowski and Cruz and the remaining two co-composed by them.

Musically the album is an attempt to create a modern sound which bridges between Jazz and Rock without referring to the weathered Jazz-Rock Fusion armory, and manages to do so with elegance, flair and a dash of humor. Although the titles of the compositions seem to suggest a musical suite of sorts, the compositions themselves are quite diverse and touch upon a plethora of different sub-genres, with hints of Classical, Baroque, Jazz of course and a distinctive Rocky edge, emphasized by the sound of the guitar and the dynamics of the drums. The saxophone and especially the wonderful flute playing are the improvisational facets of the music and the virtuoso bass performances in the background keep the entire, often quite complex structures, in perfect harmony of the spheres.

All four musicians are obviously masters of the trade and each one contributes immensely to achieve the overall effect. There is a superb relationship within this quartet based on mutual respect and common dedication, which produces a result greater than the sum of its parts. These performances, which are by far not straightforward or trivial, sound effortless and natural simply because they are executed by a team rather than just four musicians playing together. There is plenty of open space within the music for all four individuals to show off their particular talents, but their group performances are the absolute highlight of this album.

When great music is combined with superb performances the result becomes inspirational, as it is in this particular case. This is fresh, intelligent, stirring and refreshing music that kicks butt and bites, like only very few other albums do at this point of time. Of course Jazz purist will find it too spicy at times and Fusion purist will find it to complex while drinking Budd, but who cares about purists anyway? This music deserves to be heard and enjoyed and appreciated, so grab it if you find it, as life is too short for boring music!

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