Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Józefów/Żuchowski/Mora Matus – Threeism (2015)

Józefów/Żuchowski/Mora Matus

Andrzej Józefów - guitar
Adam Żuchowski - bass
Luis Mora Matus - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz guitarist/composer Andrzej Józefów, recorded in a trio setting with bassist Adam Żuchowski and Chilean drummer Luis Mora Matus. The album presents ten tracks, seven of which are originals by Józefów, one is co-composed by all three trio members, one is a standard and one is a Classical piece by the French composer of Polish/Jewish origin Alexandre Tansman.

From the very onset of this album it becomes apparent that this is not the "usual" guitar trio album, usually created to show the guitarist's skills and neck breaking speed. This one is a much more serious and deep affair, dark and introvert, which presents a musical concept and ensemble approach rather rarely found in such projects.

Józefów's music, which is the core of this album, is very melancholic, ascetic and slowly developing, a set of characteristics usually typical of Classical Music, but it is also inevitably Jazz in the best sense of the idiom. There is a lot of space and freedom in this music, which allows the musicians to spread their wings and soar high above the basic melodic and harmonic structure of the tunes, which keeps the listener on his toes for the entire duration.

The execution is also quite extraordinary; Józefów plays gently, delicately strumming the guitar and sparingly uttering his notes, being a complete antidote of the usual guitar madness. His notes are like delicate strokes of paint on canvas, slowly but consistently exposing the idea. Żuchowski is a wonderful partner in this creating, playing with the bow almost as much as plucking his bass, adding another layer of color to the musical canvas and always being right there when he is needed. Matus also keeps his drums in check, faithfully supporting the subtle musical structures with his tasteful touches, keeping the rhythm on time only when absolutely needed and playing around the rhythms when appropriate. The overall interplay between these three musicians is nothing short of astonishing.

This is definitely a most impressive debut album, which surely promises many great things to come. I had the pleasure of meeting Józefów in person during my recent visit in Gdansk, and he certainly makes an impression of treating his Art and career highly professionally. Therefore I can only wish him the best of luck, which he truly deserves.

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