Thursday, April 2, 2015

Olbrzym i Kurdupel - Work (2014)

Olbrzym i Kurdupel

Tomasz Gadecki - tenor saxophone
Marcin Bożek - bass guitar


1KG 028

By Dirk Blasejezak

I was very enthusiastic about the last album by the duo ("Six philosophical games"), an album that was really fun to listen to and above all one that made me want more! When I received this CD and listened to the first 10-15 minutes, I switched it off and didn't put it on for almost two weeks. I simply was disappointed! After those 2 weeks I've once again ventured, simply because I could not believe that Tomek Gadecki and Marcin Bożek could create something that I really wouldn't like. So I waited for a moment when I really felt like listening to their music and I was bound and determined to listen until the end this time ... and it was worth it.

I'm still not particularly fond of the first two pieces, in particular Part I is just too bulky. It reveals itself only with great difficulty. And not only because of the length, but also because of the many substantive motive changes, those come along more like several independent pieces put together into one. As presented here Part I clearly seems too long.

It also seems at the first listening of Part I and II as if the two do not as closely interact with each other as they could, there are many more solo parts - in Part II Marcin Bożek steps in to the background so much that I initially thought this is a solo part for saxophone. Undeniably, every piece shows their technical brilliance, their uniqueness as a duo unfortunately emerges only from Part III onward though.

In Part III their rhythmic interplay is much more intense - a powerful inferno! This part or the following one would be my recommendations as a first listening. Part IV sounds almost filigree compared to Part III, with finely nuanced breaks, showing how close the interplay between the two is after all. This is also reflected in the two following Parts: Part V, the petite elegy giving the listener time to take a deep breath and dream a bit, and Part VI, the almost serene end which finally reconciled me with this album and showed me that the two are not only having fun for themselves, but also give it to the listener.

Overall, beginning with Part III the album is even more catchy than its predecessor - if only the entry wouldn’t be so difficult. In Parts I and II two soloists shine at the highest level, but only from Part III onward two congenial musicians play together as a duo! So my conclusion is somewhat mixed, but I’d still say this is a very good album!

It should be mentioned that this is a live recording from February, 24th 2013 taken in the "Alchemia" club in Krakow and that concert is even as a video in parts. The section below shows that Tomek Gadecki and Marcin Bożek offer an extraordinary live experience - and I would most likely have enjoyed the first two parts much better, if I had been on the spot. Very often in Free Jazz the music only reveals its full potential live, so have a look for yourself.

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